Photographer: Levi Washburn
Concord, VA- It's been several months since the Summer Olympics ended. But the competition is still fresh in the minds of a group of local gymnasts. Friday they get to see their Olympic heroes in real-life at the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastic Champions in Charlotte. And some of them get to do more than watch.
Two girls from Elite Athletics in Concord, actually get to perform with the Olympians. They've been perfecting their routines, preparing for what they call an experience of a lifetime.
"These are their heroes," said Melissa Lowry, the mother of a gymnast performing with the Olympians.
"I really like Mckayla Maroney," said Abby Watson, a gymnast performing with the Olympians.
"(I like) Jordan Weiber, and Aly Raisman, and Gabby Douglas," said Olivia Lowry, a gymnast performing with Olympians.
"They were so excited to watch the Olympic trials and the Olympics," said Melissa Lowry.
"They would come in and practice and say did you see so and so do this, did you see that, oh that was really cool, that was really neat, I want to try that or I want to try this," said Melanie Kiger, gymnastics coach at Elite Athletics.
Girls like Abby Watson and Olivia Lowry practice year-round, day-in and day-out, in the hopes of one day being as good as their heroes.
"Being able to see them in person was just like a dream come true for these girls," said Melissa Lowry.
When Abby and Olivia found out they would be performing with the Olympians they've looked up to for so long, they sort of flipped out.
"It was so cool," said Olivia.
"I was really excited because I didn't think it would be me," said Abby.
But performing in front of thousands of people is a pretty big leap.
"I'm kinda nervous though," said Abby.
"Like what if I forget the routine I'm supposed to do?" said Olivia.
"There's gonna be a lot of people there," said Abby.
But with their team, coaches, and family there to support them, it'll be a night they'll never forget.
"This is like the highlight of her gymnastics I think," said Melissa Lowry.
And maybe one carefully-placed step closer to their dreams.
"One day I want to be in the Olympics. Yeah, I want to try to be," said Olivia.
The Elite Athletics crew heads to Charlotte tomorrow morning for the Gymnastic Champions Tour. Abby and Olivia will get in a couple hours of practice before their performance. Then after the show, the whole team will be able to see their favorite gymnasts at a meet and greet.