U.S. gymnast Jordan Chiles had the crowd at the Collective Sports Centre in the palm of her hand before she even touched an apparatus Sunday (22 October 2023) during the artistic gymnastics women’s team competition at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
A delay with the balance beam score of teammate Tiana Sumanasekera meant it was nearly 12 minutes between the time Sumanasekera dismounted and Chiles was given the green flag to begin her routine.
“I wasn’t even doing anything, and normally, it’s me getting the crowd to get hyped, but this time it was them. I really enjoyed it,” Chiles told Olympics.com afterward of the crowd’s support during the wait.
The hype turned into to gold, as Team USA, which consists of Chiles, Sumanasekera, Zoe Miller, Kayla DiCello and Kaliya Lincoln, tallied a 165.196 ahead of Rebeca Andrade‘s Brazilian team (161.564). Canada finished with the bronze, scoring 154.230.
Chiles’ big personality has made her a fan favourite throughout an elite gymnastics career that spans back a decade.
During competitions, the Washington-native, turned Houston, Texas-resident, can often be seen laughing, dancing, cheering for fellow competitors – or hyping them up to the crowd, like she did at August’s U.S. Classic where trainingmate Simone Biles made her return to competition after a two-year hiatus.
Sunday in Chile, the American was surprised to find the roles rerversed as she stretched, kicked, cartwheeled, sat, chatted and cheered during what she said was a wait that felt like half an hour long.
“It helped me calm my nerves a lot knowing that it wasn’t me this time helping the crowd, it was the crowd helping me,” said Chiles, 22. “So, it was really cool, and just to know that there’s that many supporters across the world… I was just in awe, and I was just overwhelmed with a bunch of joy.”
When she finally mounted the apparatus, Chiles delivered a solid – if not perfect – routine that put her squad on track for gold.
Source : Olympics