When Angel Rice was young, her mom was worried that cheerleading classes were too expensive. But she persevered nonetheless and became a viral sensation, thanks to an amazing video that appeared on YouTube. In the final analysis, people simply couldn’t get enough of it or her.
Rice is a young woman with what can only be described as a truly incredible talent. And she has medals and records galore to prove just how good she is at what she does. The Atlanta-based social media sensation began her journey to success when she was very young.
At the tender age of three, Rice took up tumbling as a hobby. It turned out that she had a real penchant for the energetic sport, but she hadn’t actually been enrolled in official lessons at the beginning. Instead, her mom assumed the role of coach.
However, it was too expensive to sign up both of her daughters to tumbling classes, so Rice’s mom decided to become a teacher herself. Rice’s older sister was already having tumbling coaching, and by watching the classes, Rice’s mom learnt all the teaching techniques.
“She would just watch and try to do what [the tumbling teachers] did,” Rice told NBC News in May 2016. But then, her mom got a job at an athletic center, and Rice started cheerleading at the facility. Then, by the age of five she was competing in cheer competitions.
“I started off cheerleading and then it just took off,” Rice explained. From then, there was no looking back for the young athlete. By the time she reached 12 years old, Rice had literally thrown herself into the world of tumbling. And she was seriously good at it too.
Rice then went on to train at a gym called Flip City South, where she fine-tuned her tumbling skills ready for contests. Before long she was rolling in accolades, and Rice was well on her way to becoming a world-renowned tumbling sensation.
She soon became World Cheerleading Champion not once, but twice, and she also won numerous national titles as a cheerleader. But her main focus was always power tumbling, and that’s the field in which she totally outshone the rest. In fact, she was ranked ninth in the whole world in 2015.
Not only that, but she gained a spot in the U.S.A. Gymnastics power tumbling national team and competed for her country in 2014 and 2015. But aside from her team efforts, she also pursued some individual challenges on the side, which have thrust her further into the limelight.
Rice aimed to set a Guinness World Record, which is no mean feat. In the end, she performed more double twists in one minute than anyone had ever done before, earning herself the prestigious title of Guinness World Record holder.
In addition to her awesome tumbling record, Rice has also made a few television appearances. She’s been on the Today Show as well as the Steve Harvey show. Not only that, but she is a champion in the So You Think You Can Tumble competition.
Amazingly, she’s never once been beaten. In total, she has won the tumbling contest six times. But that’s not the reason she’s most well known. In fact, it was something that was posted on social media way back in 2014 that arguably earned her the most attention and set her on the path to stardom.
Rice starred in a YouTube video doing something that nearly broke the internet. It was so incredible to watch that the footage went totally viral. The video starts with Rice standing at the end of a mat, ready to perform an utterly spectacular tumbling routine.
In the video, fellow cheerleaders line the gym mat, ready for the show. And she certainly doesn’t disappoint them. She launches herself into a series of round-offs and flips that make the viewer’s head spin just watching them. Rice’s explosive power and precision are truly impressive.
Just at the points when you might think that the routine might be over, Rice somehow manages to find the energy to launch right back into more flips. She even successfully changes her direction of travel a few times. There’s no wonder that the crowd goes totally wild for her when she’s done.
In total, she performs a mind-boggling five double twists, and somehow, she makes it look easy. The YouTube community was stunned by the video. “What the hell does she eat for breakfast, and can I have some? Her energy level is ridiculous. I got tired just watching that,” commented one viewer.
In fact, the video did so well online that it racked up an enormous view count. It has been watched more than 10 million times and has more than 9,000 likes and hundreds of comments beneath. “This girl is a force to be reckoned with,” wrote another viewer who was totally amazed by Rice’s physical ability.
There’s no doubt that the viral video raised Rice’s profile somewhat, and she’s been taking advantage of the exposure ever since. Ideally, she’d like for the video to raise awareness of power tumbling as a competitive sport to a point where it might one day feature as an Olympic event.
According to the athlete, people in general think that power tumbling is “just flipping on a mat.” But to her, it’s so much more. “I want to actually get it out there so people know what power tumbling is,” she told HuffPost in May 2016.
Unfortunately, power tumbling has not yet made it into the Olympics, but there’s no doubt that Rice has successfully raised the sport’s profile. And she has managed to build her own social media following even more too, boasting a huge amount of Instagram followers – 367,000 of them to be precise.
She’s molded herself into a celebrity in the tumbling world, which is amazing, considering that she wasn’t exactly handed classes on a plate. After all, her mom had been reluctant to let her start “because it was too expensive,” but Rice said that was exactly what made her work even harder to get where she is today.