BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Young athletes from all over the southeast made their way to the Gulf Coast today for a chance to compete in the Biloxi Bijou gymnastics competition. Hundreds of gymnasts gave it their all Saturday, aiming to impress the judges with their talents and skills.
“It’s a great opportunity for people throughout the Southeast and beyond to come to Biloxi, and let these young gymnasts compete.” said Destination Meets owner, Debbie Wood.
This is the the third year for the Biloxi Bijou gymnastics competition, which is organized by Destination Meets.
Wood said COVID-19 made putting together this year’s competition a challenge, and changes had to be made to keep everyone safe.
“Little things too, making sure we don’t have too many people at one time for the awards, and everything else, trying to keep it as safe as we can.” said Wood.
Biloxi Bijou is typically a two-day event but because of the pandemic, numbers were down this year. Last year, around 450 gymnasts competed compared to just 300 this year. Because of that, the competition was shortened to one day. But Wood is just glad they were able to continue the event.
“They work year round and for them not to have the ability to come and show what they’ve learned and be proud of all the hard work they put in,” said Wood. “That’s why it’s so important to me to continue to have it.”
Parents and the athletes were also happy to see the competition go on.
“I think the venue was fantastic, it was big enough,” said parent Alejandra Hernandez. “I think the competition went fast, and yeah, I think everything went well.”
Wood hopes to expand the competition back to a two day, or possibly even three day event next year.
Destination Meets also coordinates gymnastic events in St. Augustine and Panama City in Florida as well as Branson, Missouri.