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Monday, September 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Gymnastics tour brings Final Five, other big stars to Spokane Arena

Simone Biles, who won four gold medals and a bronze during the Rio Olympics, will be among the gymnasts performing in Spokane on Thursday, Sept. 15 at the Spokane Arena, kicking off the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. (Dmitri Lovetsky / AP)
Simone Biles, who won four gold medals and a bronze during the Rio Olympics, will be among the gymnasts performing in Spokane on Thursday, Sept. 15 at the Spokane Arena, kicking off the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. (Dmitri Lovetsky / AP)

Fresh off their gold-medal win in Rio, the Final Five are kicking off a national tour Thursday in Spokane.

“It’s a great chance for the athletes to really connect with fans,” said Steve Penny, president and CEO of USA Gymnastics. “The athletes get to see how much the fans appreciate what they do.”

The Final Five – Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman – will be joined by other 2016 U.S. Olympic gymnasts, as well as World medalists and competitors from past Olympics, including 2008 all-around champion Nastia Liukin, 2008 balance beam champion Shawn Johnson and 2012 team champion Jordyn Wieber.

The show, which has been put together in a couple weeks, is choreographed, with group numbers, creative costuming, video and current music, Penny said. It also features local gymnasts in the opening.

“It’s more cirque-like” than a regular gymnastics competition, he said. That said, all of the disciplines for men and women will be part of the performance, including beam, bars and rings, plus trampoline and rhythmic gymnastics.

“This is their chance to show off, this is their chance to have fun,” he said. “They look forward to this because it allows them a chance to show off and show their style and their own character and not worry about what the judges are going to say.”

Kimberly Lusk

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