Local businesses feel effects of Rio Olympics
SUMMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - With the Rio Olympics wrapping up this weekend businesses in the Lowcountry are already feeling the effects.
Gymnastics and swimming facilities in the Charleston area are seeing an increase in the number of kids signing up for classes.
On average most businesses are seeing a 20% increase over the last month.
With the US Women's gymnastics team taking Gold this year at the Olympics, Choice Gymnastics in Summerville is dealing with a high numbers of kids tumbling through its doors.
"We've had a great influx of calls and inquiries," said head coach Cliff Wilson. "A lot of new kids trying classes for the first time. They get a free introductory class, and of course they've been seeing it on TV and are excited."
"Me and my mom were sitting on the couch watching Olympics and I said wow that's really cool," said Sydney Williams, who has been taking classes for five years. "So then we came here for a birthday party and we thought oh this will be perfect!"
Several of the athletes at Choice Gymnastics have been in classes for several years.
Many of them say them say it's hard work, but are inspired by the stars on TV.
"I like Simone and Aly," said Autumn Javier, 11. "They work really hard, but then everyone there is working hard."
"Kids see it and they're like that's what I want to do," Wilson added. "They're amazed by it. By watching the girls, they really get it, and the next thing they're going to do is start watching the college gymnastics on the SEC channel and those sorts of things."
Wilson said the start of the school year has also played a role in the number of kids signing up for classes.
Gymnastic businesses aren't the only ones seeing a vault in the numbers.
"Sometimes I watch swimming, but I mostly watch gymnastics," Javier said.
City of Charleston swim teams are seeing a medley of new swimmers.
Michael Stewart, the head coach with Southern Marlins Racing Team, said in the last three weeks more than 100 kids have been evaluated, with 25 more kids signed up.
"This is a 20% increase from last year," he said.
These numbers could lead to the largest swim team the city has had so far.
Jennifer Ayers-Millar, the Aquatics Manager with the Recreation Department added they've seen an increase in the number of people using the city pools over the last month.
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