Bentonville West student heads to Junior Olympics as first Arkansas gymnast in 8 years

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The Tokyo Olympics are officially a hundred days away and there are some local athletes you should keep your eye on for future Olympic games.

For the first time in eight years, Arkansas will have a gymnast competing in the Junior Olympics- that is Beau Bice from Bentonville.

Beau Bice and coach, Chase Warden

He is a sophomore at Bentonville West, but you will most likely find him somewhere else- the gym.

“I live here,” Bice said. “This is the only place I go.”

You don’t have a life outside of the gym.”

-BEAU BICE, JUNIOR OLYMPICS GYMNAST

He said that has been the case since he was just five years old.

“The coach at the time was like, ‘Hey, you need to keep your eye on this kid,'” said coach, Chase Warden.

Now, he said the sacrifices are paying off, as he trains for the 2021 Junior Olympics with Warden- his coach of ten years.

“It’s just really exciting that I get to go do this and I’ve had him for forever,” Bice said. “I’m just really happy.”

Warden said Bice making it to this competition is already an accomplishment.

“We are lucky enough to be in the most competitive region,” Warden said.

It takes a special kid to make it into the national round, and we finally got one after eight years of being in Arkansas.”

-CHASE WARDEN, COACH

This exciting qualification came off of a hard year due to injuries, and then, a global pandemic shutting down their gym.

“It’s been a struggle to get here, so I’m just trying to keep it going and do the best that I can,” Bice said.

The year included some extra miles just to be able to practice.

“We didn’t have a home to train at,” Warden said. “We were traveling down to Van Buren, up to Springfield, just trying to find a place to train.”

For other gymnasts trying to achieve their dreams, Bice has a piece of advice:

“You got to work hard,” he said. “Keep training, you got to keep your hopes up.”

The Junior Olympics are just around the corner, starting May 11th.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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