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GABBY’S INFLUENCE: Olympic Games Inspire

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Her London Olympics aren't done yet, but Gabby's gold already has some Iowans jumping on the gymnastics band wagon. Phones have been ringing off the hook at gymnastics studios and academies across the metro.

Three years after first stepping into a gym, 10 year old Jordanne Hensley's passion hasn't faded.

“Seeing the team USA and seeing how they do and seeing the trials of who will get into the Olympics is really fun,” said Jordanne Hensley.

“She absolutely loves it. It’s her passion you can definitely tell. Everything about her is gymnastics,” said her mom, Penny Hensley.

This year, with the London Olympics, that passion has only grown.

“We talked about how I could only go so far in this gym, they might now be able to take me to the Olympics,” said Jordanne.

“We`ve been talking about the fact that gabby gave up her life to move to Des Moines to work with a coach, that`s a huge commitment not to mention the finances of it,” said Penny.

While some consider the next step, the Olympics are encouraging future gymnasts to take their first.

“Right after the Olympics a lot of girls get involved and all the clubs will get full,” said Penny.

“Growing up in the sport it kind of seems like a trend over the years that that happens18:28:16 I kind of defensively stick up for the sport because it’s like. I wish people would pay attention to it more than just the Olympics,” said Libby Bell, a coach at Team Gymnastics Academy in Des Moines.

Libby bell grew up paying attention, going from student to coach.  She knows the competitive side, but says the real value of the sport doesn't come from the medal stand.

“The goal is to help gymnasts become the best people they can be, rather than win the gold medal or what have you. It’s more about discipline and hard work, learning all those types of things,” said Bell.

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