This past Saturday my mom and I went to the Secret Classic in Chicago, it was possibly one of the best days of my 20 years of life! We arrived at 1:00 for the Junior competition. Just seeing the arena was so exciting for me, I have watched so many of these competitions on TV and on youtube but actually being there, so close by, was amazing. The standouts in the competition was of course, Jordan Chiles the winner who barely had a waver. When we left between rotations to get a snack I saw a girl on crutches who I thought was Lexie Priessman who had just gotten hurt in practice the day before. I was a little nervous to go up to her but I finally did and it was her! I got a picture and it was so cool to see her, I hope she heals up soon. That competition lasted for about 2 hours and then we stopped at the bathrooms. BIG MISTAKE. You see, McKayla Maroney was going to be there signing autographs, we kept asking people when that line would form but everyone said something different. When we got out from the bathrooms we asked a worker and they said that the line was already forming. So we get outside and the line has already gone far around the building. I was freaking out! Only 300 people got autographs! I was so mad that we wasted time and no one had given us a straight answer. My mom and I waited in that line for an hour and a half, not even knowing if we would get in! I did get to meet and get a picture with Jordan Chiles as well as an autograph, which was very cool. We saw her going back into the arena with her family, her dad took time and talked to some people in line. After I got a picture a giant crowd gathered around , poor girl must have spent half an hour signing autographs in her warm ups in the hot sun!
Finally they started handing out wristbands, you won’t believe this, my mom and I got the LAST TWO. I am still dying of anxiety at the thought of not getting one and how close it came. So many people behind us missed out L.
They were letting the people with wristbands in and we had to wait in another line for autographs. In total, the wait was probably close to three hours. The line crept forward and finally I was standing in front of McKayla! I was so excited, she was super nice and asked to shake MY hand! I got an autograph and even though we weren’t supposed to get pictures, she let everyone get one of her and them together. Oh it was so awesome!
We went back to our great seats for the senior completion, I couldn’t wait to see Kyla Ross, Simone Biles and Norah Flatley compete. Simone was amazing, untouchable really, Kyla was solid (still needs to upgrade but her consistency is a very good thing), Norah did great, I can’t wait to see where she goes once she increases her difficulty.
A few notes:
· Vaulting looks a lot difference in person than on screen, it was cool to see that in live action.
· I loved GAGE’s leotards but man did they crash and burn.
· Does Kim ZB ever smile? And why did she pull almost all of her athletes from the competition?
· A lot of these girls seem to be genuine friends, nice to see. Especially Kyla and Simone.
· MyKayla Skinner’s form was worse in person.
· I loved that a lot of floor music is including vocals now, makes it more dynamic.
All in all it was a great day! And without further ado, a flood of pictures! They are terrible quality from my phone since I forgot my camera.
Here we have the Junior session, I think that is one of Chow's athlete's by the vaulting runway.
Here is Grace Quinn of Texas Dreams, she competed two events and then was MIA, Where did she go Kim??
I got this pic of Mary Lee Tracey from Cincinnati Gymnastics. I was almost as excited to see the coaches as I was the athletes.
In the autograph line, nearing the front!!
Nia Dennis on beam, I think she fell off moments after I snapped this...
My favorite junior, Norah Flatley getting ready to vault. (in the red leo)
Shot of the sign.
Simone getting ready for floor.
Panoramic of the arena
Simone, Kyla and Kyla's teammate Felicia chatting around the chalk bowl.
Kyla and Simone being friends :) they were so close to me!
Chow, his wife and Norah Flatley in a huddle.
I'm going to put the pictures I got with McKayla, Jordan and Lexie up in a separate post later on.
Woooo, it was such a great day!!