STAR Swimming coach Rick Aronberg says Lochte met with his swimmers a while back. "He came in and did a clinic with our team six years ago. A lot of our kids got to know him, they still get to text him a little bit and they have a lot of interest in him," says Aronberg. They're also inspired by Missy Franklin's accomplishments, especially after watching her at the Olympic trials in Omaha. "When you watch that, all of a sudden one of your kids is going, 'Wow, I'm at this meet, she was at this meet, now she's in the Olympics. Maybe I can do that too.' There's a reason we go to national meets and maybe one of these kids makes it to that level because of watching these stars." He adds the swimmers are following the games with huge interest, following online during the day as they're at a national meet, and watching the results on tape delay.
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Gymnastics is another big event at the Olympics, and it's being followed at Gleason's School of Gymnastics. Just like swimming, owner Larry Goldsmith says calls are coming in. But the calls usually increase this time of year, as parents look for an activity for their children.
Those taking classes are watching the gymnastics competition, and are inspired by the success of Team USA. "Anyone watching can't help but be inspired by these young, fit girls, and they all are good athletes. Their attitudes are great, they look like they're having fun despite all the pressure on the highest stage," says Goldsmith.
Goldsmith says for those who think their child may be the next Gabby Douglas, he says the program is structured. "We don't ever limit a child. We follow progressions and safety, and if it's meant to be for the child, that's what will happen," notes Goldsmith. He emphasizes he'll never tell parents their child doesn't have potential, but won't raise false hopes either.