SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — World-renowned gymnasts led by Olympic star Simone Biles captured the crowd at Golden 1 Center Wednesday night.
“Just to see Simone Biles! She’s my favorite,” said 8-year-old Karter. “She’s really awesome, pretty and really talented.”READ MORE: Sacramento Sets Storm Record With Its Highest All-Time Rainfall Total Since 1880
The little girl was one of many children eager to see the women they look up to. But the incredible performances held special meaning.
These are young women carrying a lot of weight, and not just in the athletic world. They are role models and they are making it clear they want to use that to make a difference. That’s why the star-studded cast turned from stunts to serious conversation. Aside from high-energy routines set to heart-pounding pop music, the Gold Over America Tour also featured heartfelt conversations on mental health, body image and other serious issues facing many gymnasts.
“It shows us that these athletes are human beings. They’re just like us. They experience life the same ways with ups and downs, but they just have to do it with significantly more pressure,” said Dr. Marcia Faustin, UC Davis assistant clinical professor in family and sports medicine.READ MORE: 'Never Been So Excited': Nonprofit Gets Unexpected Help As Storm Threatens Shelter
Dr. Faustin worked with Simone Biles just as the gymnast decided to drop out of the Tokyo Olympics this past Summer citing mental health issues.
“Her changes within the Olympics allowed the other gymnasts to really flourish and to grow and allowed them to receive medals and accolades that they probably didn’t think would be possible,” said Dr. Faustin.
“She’s amazing to be that strong in front of the entire world. It’s not just the country, she represents the world with mental health and strength,” said Laken, a mother attending the performance with her daughter.
It’s a mix of stunts and serious conversation bringing entertainment with health at the core.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Atmospheric River: I-880 Shutdown, Flooded Roadways, Damaged Homes, Massive Rockslides In Storm's Wake
Their next stop is Boise. They’re bringing the performance to 35 cities in less than two months. The gymnasts have talked about how they’re practicing what they’re preaching by focusing on self-care and having fun exploring each city in between performances.