7 athletes with Houston ties prepare for U.S. Olympic Gymnastic Trials

ST. LOUIS – Twenty men and eighteen women tuned their skills Wednesday: one day before the start of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastic Trials in St. Louis.

Seven of those athletes have ties to Houston.

KPRC 2 recently spoke to two of the gymnasts from Simone Biles’ World Champions Centre in Spring. As with all world-class athletes, mental preparation is just as important as physical training.

“I’m doing a lot of recovery stuff to help my body physically stay in shape, like physical therapy stuff,” said 16-year-old Amari Drayton. “And then with my mental, I just need to like to calm down, think about everything that’s happening.”

Jordan Chiles, who needed wrist surgery in 2020, said the pandemic was a blessing in disguise as it gave her time to heal.

“My mental and physical health has definitely changed from 2020 to now,” she said. “My mindset and goals are definitely bigger than they were.”

The men will be competing tomorrow and Saturday while the women compete Friday and Sunday.

The full list of Houston-area gymnasts at the Olympic Trials:

Simone Biles: World Champions Center -- Spring

Jordan Chiles: World Champions Center -- Spring

Amari Drayton: World Champions Center -- Spring

Zoe Miller: World Champions Center -- Spring

Ian Gunther: Stanford University via Westside HS & Cypress Academy

Colin Van Wicklen: Oklahoma University via Magnolia West HS & Cypress Academy

Matt Wenske: Oklahoma University via Jersey Village HS

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