ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The Tampa Bay Turners, a gymnastics center in St. Petersburg, hosted a watch party bright and early on Tuesday to cheer on the Team USA women’s gymnastics team.
“I had my alarm set for 5:30 and I pulled in by 6:20 just ready to watch,” TBT gymnast Mackenna Kunitzer said.
Kunitzer, 18, said she received a text message from her mom during Tuesday’s watch party asking her if she had heard about Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles withdrawing from the event.
“But that’s how I found out and it was just crazy,” Kunitzer said.
Other Team USA fans at the Tampa Bay Turners watch party were also taken aback by Biles’ exit.
“I really hope that she’s okay and that everything‘s going to be all right but it’s been really exciting to see what other three girls have been able to do and put together,” TBT gymnast Madison Sakalosky said
TBT co-owner and head coach Brad Harris said kids around the world could learn something valuable by watching Biles.
“That even in the light of such a tragic moment in her personal career that she could remain so classy, you’ll get a big lesson from that,” he said.
Kunitzer said Biles showed great sportsmanship and teamwork teaching others that it’s important to keep your head up even if you stumble.
“She always had a smile on her face and it’s really good to see that even though she’s struggling with something either mentally or physically,”