Sunday, November 14, 2021

The Gold Over America Tour

Simone Biles once said, “surround yourself with the dreamers, the doers, the believers and thinkers; but most of all surround, yourself with those who will see greatness within you even when you don’t see it yourself.” For years, I have been in awe of Simone, her greatness and all of the incredible things she has achieved in gymnastics. I never thought I would ever be able to see her perform in person, but that changed one week ago when Eliot and I were surrounded by a bunch of amazing female athletes... 

Photo Source

As I mentioned the other day, Eliot and I were in Massachusetts last Sunday.  Our trip to Salem was definitely part of the plan, but the main reason we went down on that particular day was that we had tickets to an event in Boston.  For months, I have been following Simone Biles and her Gold Over America Tour (G.O.A.T.)  The last stop of the country-wide tour was Sunday night, when the show rolled into Boston.

Photo Source

I had asked my parents back in September (on our Virginia trip) if they would buy me tickets for my birthday.  They usually purchase tickets for Jeremy and Dad to go see a Celtics game together, and I really wanted to do this.  Friday night, Eliot and I picked out our tickets, purchased them, and made our weekend plans.  I was so excited!

After our adventure in Salem ended, Eliot and I got on the highway and I drove south towards Boston.  We made a quick stop at our old stomping grounds, the Woburn Chipotle for dinner, before driving the rest of the way into the city.  We arrived a few minutes past 6, right on schedule, and showed the TD Garden attendant our pre-paid parking ticket.  Then, we followed the rest of the cars down into the parking garage.

By the time Eliot and I got into the elevator, I could barely contain my excitement... and I wasn't alone.  There were tons of excited little girls running all over the place.  As we got into the line to enter the arena, I also noticed a few other groups of adults.  While the show was more geared towards younger, aspiring gymnasts, people of all ages were excited to see what our USA Gymnastics Team could do!

The Gold Over America Tour was a celebration of powerful female athletes who are not only representing the sport of gymnastics, but also inspiring the next generation of female athletes.  The show focuses on your power, voice and inner strength, as well as the power of us when we all unite and support each other.  The show was high energy and filled with amazing athletic skills as well as a look at some of the girls' personal journeys.  The Gold Over America Tour has been traveling across the US for the past two months, with the girls traveling on giant tour busses as they make each stop.

Photo Source

The thing I was looking forward to the most about the show was seeing our Olympic Gymnastics Team members.  Most of the girls we saw in Tokyo were in the show including Simone Biles, Grace McCallum, Jordan Chiles, Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner.  (Suni Lee was missing but she's been busy with Dancing with the Stars.)  In addition to those ladies, Laurie Hernandez from the 2016 Rio Olympics was also in the show along with many other elite gymnasts who have competed at world events. 

Eliot and I both really enjoyed the show.  The girls showcasing their gymnastics skills was incredible.  I loved watching them perform right in front of us.  It's amazing how high they fly off of the bars-  which was the apparatus right in front of our section.  Eliot and I were only 9 rows up in the stands, so all of the performers felt pretty close.  I was also a fan of the catchy, upbeat music and the girls' numerous costume changes.  (I think my favorite outfits were the sparkling Wonder Woman leotards!)

Photo Source

I loved the meaning of the show.  Some of the graphics on the screen were glittery and youthful including emojis and an almost diary feel.  You could tell that they were focusing on the younger audience, but I appreciated the girl power and message of bringing each other up.  I hope the messages of the show sticks with the younger girls... especially the fact that there's gold in all of us.

There were also a few deeper moments in the show.  I like how Simone performed a number about her anxiety and what happened in Tokyo.  You may recall, I was so proud of Simone in Tokyo and how she focused on her mental health.  She danced on the floor with a bunch of the dancers who were wearing hoodies with the text "your anxiety is lying to you" on the back.  It was a really powerful moment and she showed that it's ok to focus on your mental health as part of your overall health.

Photo Source

Another powerful moment was when Katelyn Ohashi slowly walked around the floor while a pre-recorded spoken word performance of a letter she wrote her younger self played over the loud speaker.  The letter speaks of the physical and mental toll her gymnastics career took on her.  After that, some of the other girls watched a montage of their careers play on the big screen while Coldplay's "Fix You" played.

Ironically, one of the best parts of the entire show actually wasn't planned.  The second half of our show was a little out of order.  The speaker system was having problems and we ended up having an extended intermission.  When the intermission started to drag on, Laurie Hernandez came out to entertain the crowd.  Not even a minute later, a few of the other girls ran out to accompany her.  As time moved on, more of the girls came out to join until all of them were on the floor in a fully lit stadium.

They ended up doing a "stick it" skills circle where they did different skills and if you didn't stick the landing you were out.  It was really fun to see all of the girls in a more natural setting.  You really got to see their personalities shine.  The dancers couldn't do all of the gymnastics moves, but they still attempted them and made everyone laugh and smile.  I think that was my favorite part.  The girls were all having a bunch of fun even though they weren't sure what was happening and they were in the middle of an arena full of people waiting for the technical difficulties to be worked out.  They made the best of a bad situation, while having fun and cheering each other on.

After the show, the girls all took their final bows and some of the crew came out to give them all bouquets of flowers.  It was emotional since this show was the last moments in some of their careers.  The young women on tour were 18 to 32, and some were retiring after this.  (MyKayla Skinner broke down during the show while announcing that she was retiring.)  A lot of the girls were taking photos with each other on the stage.  Some of the girls also had family and friends in the stands.  Security was tight, but they did let some of them down to see the girls.  (Eliot and I were pretty sure that Simone's Mom was sitting opposite us since she went to see her after the show.)

Once we left the arena, we stayed to get some merchandise.  The line was so long, and since it was the last stop on tour, we had no idea what they would have left.  I always collect programs from shows that I go to, but they didn't have one for this.  I wanted to get a tour shirt, but they didn't have any adult sizes left.  They sold out of the white and gold goat plush I was planning to get a few people ahead of us.  Instead, I bought a long sleeve shirt with the gymnastics moves Simone does.  It was bright and colorful, and I did like it.  Eliot and I also got a tour magnet that had a photo of the girls on it.  Then, I left the arena completely exhausted, but very inspired.

Photo Source

After that, we headed back to the car, hopped in and made our way out of Boston.  We made a quick stop at the McDonald's in Woburn for drinks, and then drove back home to Maine.  Once we crossed the border into Maine, Eliot took over driving because I was too tired and I didn't think it was safe for me to keep driving.  But we had so much fun in Salem and at the show, as exhausted as I was, it was totally worth it. 

Photo Source

"At the end of the day, if I can say I had fun, it was a good day." - Simone Biles

Thank you to Simone, Grace, Jordan, Jade, MyKayla, Laurie and all of the other gymnasts, dancers, and people who put this tour together.  Eliot and I both had so much fun watching your incredible skills in person...  it was a very good day.  °o°

No comments:

Post a Comment