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Gymnast Fred Richard Is Going to the 2024 Olympics After Historic Win: "It's Amazing"

The viral teen gymnast aims to lead Team USA to victory in Paris!

By Chris Phelan
Frederick Richard sniles holding his Bronze Medal.

As the 2024 Summer Olympics draws closer, all attention seems to be focused on the U.S. women's gymnastics team — which makes sense. Historically, they've been more successful than their male counterparts, and their star power — thanks to the overwhelming popularity of athletes like Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, and Jordan Chiles — has been unrivaled. Ask the average American fan to name an Olympic gymnast, and they'd be hard-pressed to name anyone other than a female athlete.

Fred Richard is looking to change that narrative.

The 19-year-old rising star in the gymnastics world is eyeing Paris as the stage of his grand coronation. As one of the best male gymnasts Team USA has ever seen, anticipation for his world debut this summer has reached a fever pitch.

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How did Fred Richard make history? 

Last year, Fred achieved a historic first. During the World Championships, he became the first American male athlete since 2010 to win a world gymnastics championship all-around medal and the youngest American male gymnast ever to win an individual medal – not an easy feat, to say the least. Even the most skeptical gymnastics fan must confess that Fred delivered an iconic performance.

If that's the kind of mastery Fred can offer up at the 2023 World Championships, imagine what he has prepared for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

To many fans, Fred Richard genuinely seems destined for greatness.

Fred has found himself somewhat of a viral sensation, as he's used TikTok to bolster his popularity and champion the sport of men's gymnastics. Based on his videos with celebrities like Snoop Dogg and gymnastics legends like Simon Biles, he's not only given men's gymnastics a much-needed spotlight but also made the sport cool. That's not an easy thing to do, especially when you're only a teenager. Nevertheless, Fred Richard has made it happen, and he'll bring even more eyes to the sport when he leads Team USA into Paris to (hopefully) bring back a gold medal. 

How does Fred Richard view himself as a pioneer for gymnastics?

In a recent interview with NBC Boston, Fred revealed he's well aware of his place in history and welcomes the responsibility that comes with being an African-American male gymnast – especially someone so overwhelmingly successful thus far.  

"I've realized a lot of Black kids are looking up to me nowadays and I think it's amazing to see that I'm that person leading the chase," Fred admitted. 

It's not easy being the face of a new generation of athletes, but Fred — and his fans — are here for it. Interestingly enough, Fred credits social media with giving him the runway to help popularize men's gymnastics and be a tastemaker of sorts to countless young fans. 

Frederick Richard competes on the Men's Floor Apparatus Final at the 2023 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships.

"It goes back to me kind of feeling what my purpose is in the sport — It is to grow the sport," he confessed. "And I think TikTok is that platform that gave me that opportunity."

In a world where it's easy for American youth to abuse social media, it's refreshing to see someone like Fred Richard use it to amplify his voice and be a leader. He's the farthest thing from a clout chaser, and his authenticity and respect for gymnastics are apparent in everything he posts.

Fred Richard's Parents and Family

Of course, it's borderline impossible for an athlete to reach the heights Fred has achieved without a support system; his parents have been his biggest fans since day one. Not wanting to be left out of the conversation, Fred's parents were quick to chime in — like any good parent would — that they noticed Fred's jaw-dropping athleticism from a very early age. 

"From very early on he was doing handstands; I mean, he was literally doing it in his crib at less than two," his mother told NBC Boston.

Frederick Richard holds up an American flag.

She noted that they put him in training at a young age and his instructors saw that he had great potential in the sport. His former coach Tom Fontecchio personally sought to help Fred achieve his dreams. 

"But Tom saw my potential, and on the weekends, he’d go out of his way to drive me to other gyms that had the right equipment and train me in a way so that I could be prepared for this level. And, when I outgrew the gym, he was able to connect me to the right coach to continue my journey," Fred shared in an interview with Michigan Daily.

Where is Fred Richard going to college?

The young gymnast is currently attending University of Michigan, where he competes on the gymnastics team and is enrolled in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. 

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