Colorado gymnastics schools see increasing enrollment during Rio Olympics

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ARVADA, Colo. -- The Summer Olympics are capturing the attention of aspiring athletes everywhere.

In Colorado, young girls and boys are turning into hopeful gymnasts with big dreams.

The Denver School of Gymnastics in Arvada is almost at its enrollment capacity this month. The increase comes from many young hopefuls who watch Team USA on TV.

"They see the excitement the Olympics has brought and how fun it is to watch those kids," said Debbie Walker, the school's owner.

Emma Schneider is one of the young athletes enthralled by athletes such as Simone Biles. She hopes to eventually become one of the elite.

"She's just amazing and she does a lot of cool things that I want to learn how to do," Schneider said.

Walker, a former USA gymnastics elite competitor and alternate during past Olympics, said her school is seeing a 30 percent increase in enrollment since the start of the Rio Games.

The influx of students nearly maxed out student capacity.

"We have five spots left in the whole program right now," Walker said.

The school starts kids as young as 3. They can begin competitive team training a few years later.

"They're young, they have goals, they want to be just like them," Walker said.

Parents can see the enthusiasm from their children as well.

"All of her friends have the Olympic bug right now," Denise Schneider said.

Walker said Team USA has gained so much national attention, it's really kept her business booming.

"If they have aspirations of going to the Olympics, we want to set them on that path, make sure they have the skills to do that," Walker said.

Gymnasts must have discipline and desire in order to succeed. But Walker hopes they leave their lessons with a smile on their face.

"When they leave our gym, they can say it's a really positive experience," Walker said.

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