“It’s Not Gonna Work”: Coco Gauff’s Mother’s Harsh Reality Check in Childhood Stopped Her From Following the Same Goal as Simone Biles

Published 11/20/2022, 12:15 PM EST

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Athletes of a particular sport often don’t limit themselves to one particular sport. Usually, they grow up playing multiple sports before they chose one. Champions like Michael Phelps and Coco Gauff grew up practicing multiple disciplines. In fact, teenage tennis star Coco Gauff was close to becoming America’s next gymnastics superstar.

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While she dreamed of becoming a gymnast, things, unfortunately, didn’t go as planned. The tennis star’s father, Corey Gauff, once revealed how Coco had plans to make it big in gymnastics. However, the plans ended up being shattered with a good dose of reality.

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Coco Gauff loved gymnastics

Father and coach Corey Gauff sat down for a candid interview about his daughter. While discussing her performance and future, he talked about the tennis star’s childhood. Considering both he and Coco’s mother, Candi Gauff, are athletes, it was natural for Coco to indulge in multiple sports. Growing up, she did gymnastics, ran track, and played basketball. She trained for tennis as well, apart from the other sports. However, gymnastics caught her heart.

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Corey recalled how gymnastics was his daughter’s, first love. She was enthusiastic about the sport. However, her mother had to intervene to give her a reality check. Corey recalled, “I was excited about it, but my wife was like, It’s not gonna work, she’s not gonna be a gymnast.” This was because Coco was too tall to become a gymnast. Therefore, she had to abandon the thought of following Simone Biles’ path.

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Apart from gymnastics, Coco also loved to run track. Unlike the physical demands of the former sport, the tennis star had a better build for running. Corey mentioned that both track and gymnastics require a certain level of technical efficiency and instruction.

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Coco and Simone’s gymnast connection

The tennis star and the Olympian gymnast share a strong bond. They often support each other in times of distress. When the Olympic star dropped out of the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Coco empathized and spoke up about her own experience. Meanwhile, Simone rooted for Coco for the Game Changer Award at People’s Choice 2019.

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Both athletes portray a strong friendship that inspires fans all over the world. Yet, it feels insane to think about how the world would’ve been if Coco Gauff would have made gymnastics her forte.

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Watch This Story: Young gymnasts to watch out in the absence of Simone Biles, from the World Gymnastics Championship

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Written by:

Radha Iyer

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Radha Iyer is working as a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has a Master's degree in Media and Communications from Pandit Deendayal Energy University. Radha has worked as a content writer for over a year.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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