At the Antwerp World Championship 2023 a new page of gymnastic history was written by Hillary Heron (PAN). During her qualification floor exercise, the Panamanian gymnast was the first to perform the Biles, after Simone presented it 10 years ago in the same arena.
The gymnast spoke to Ginnasticando.it after being the first gymnast to perform the Biles on the floor routine after Simone Biles and said:” Before my competition day at worlds, I didn’t know that I was the first gymnast, besides Simone, to compete the Biles 1 on a world championship. It’s such an amazing and fun skill to compete and I feel so honored to be able to make history for my country.”
But how did she start training this difficult skill? “We started the skill as a preparation for a layout full-out, but as time went by my coaches noticed that the Biles 1 looked very good and easy for me. We decided to stick with it for competition and it became part of our strategy.”
After Hillary Heron performed the Biles had the chance to meet Simone Biles, thankful to her friend Joscelyn Roberson, but unfortunately, they didn’t speak much:
“We didn’t get to talk much since she was still competing and had a busy schedule. But overall, she’s such a wonderful person and is an inspiration for me and for many young gymnasts in the world.”
But Hillary didn’t just tell us about the emotions about her floor routine. We relived a bit her history and the importance of the Olympics for her.
The Panamanian gymnast took her first steps in the world of gymnastics when she was 4 years old. She said she was watching the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the living room with her parents when:“I saw all the gymnasts tumbling with their beautiful leotards and it caught my attention very quickly. I told my parents immediately that I wanted to do gymnastics and be like the olympians I saw on the tv. My parents enrolled me in gymnastics and I instantly fell in love with the sport.”
Little Hillary Heron believed in her dream until it became a reality. Thanks to the wonderful qualification the gymnast was able to snatch the long-dreamed Olympic pass.
“I still can’t believe it, it’s like I’m walking on a dream. The Olympic Games have been my life-long dream and it’s such an honor to be able to classify for Paris 2024 thanks to many years of hard work, discipline and resilience. I feel proud of myself for achieving this wonderful dream but I also feel excited and ready to put in the work so I can become a better version of myself and have an amazing performance on the Olympics.”
A unique emotion that is also combined with the pride of representing your country in the most important world sports stage:” it’s such an honor and I feel very blessed to have this opportunity. This will inspire a new generation of gymnasts, just like I was inspired to start gymnastics, so I feel like it’s a full circle moment for me and it makes me happy and excited.”
In Hillary’s pathe there are a lot of new goals and ambitions: “have big goals for all my competitions in the 2024 season (upgrades, staying healthy and hitting new personal records), but one of my biggest goals this upcoming year is to continue enjoying the sport I love and live every moment and every opportunity”.
The Panamanian gymnast will take part in the Pan American games. The Panama team will compete with the whole team and not only her as a single athlete:” The team is more than ready, we have been working towards this goal for a very long time and I know we’re going to continue making history for our country. The work is already done and now it’s time to enjoy Panam games not only as a team, but as a wonderful family that we are”.
But, there will not be only the competition; in fact, Hillary Heron will be the flag bearer at the opening ceremony!
We would like to wish good luck to Hillary for the pan games and for the future. We appreciate the time she dedicated to us.