Cartwheeling Kids Whose Video Went Viral to Become Full-Time Gymnasts

A video of two middle school-aged children cartwheeling and front flipping on an Indian city street went viral after Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Nadia Comaneci tweeted it.

Now, those same kids are being offered athletic training by India's major sports organization, Sports Authority of India.

In a video posted to social media by choreographer Shekhar Rao, the boy and girl, whose names could not be confirmed by Newsweek, were cartwheeling and front flipping while carrying school bags through what appears to be a street in Kolkata.

Kiren Rijiju, who serves as India's Minister of State Youth Affairs & Sports, took notice and retweeted the video on August 26.

"These kids are raw talents. Will get them connected to a gymnastic academy if someone brings them to me," he wrote.

This is awesome

— Nadia Comaneci (@nadiacomaneci10) August 29, 2019

Days later, Nadia Comaneci—the Romanian gymnast who in 1976 became the first in Olympic history to receive a perfect score for her performance on the uneven bars—praised the children while sharing the video on Twitter.

"This is awesome," the five-time Olympic gold medallist wrote on August 29.

Rijiju shared Comaneci's tweet and said that he was pleased the legendary gymnast (who became the youngest all-around gold medalist, at age 14, after earning six more perfect scores in 1976) took notice.

"I'm happy that @nadiacomaneci10 tweeted it!" wrote Rijiju. "As first gymnast who scored perfect 10.0 at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and then, received six more perfect 10s to win three gold medals, it becomes very special. I've urged to introduce these kids to me," Rijiju said.

Rijiju tweeted on Tuesday that opportunities will be provided "if the kids desire to get out of their present school to pursue a career in gymnastics."

Since the video went viral, Rao, who apparently serves as the children's dance teacher, has posted a panoply of videos that show off the kids' talents.

Sports Authority India, an organization for which Rijiju serves as chairman, has not formally announced that it has offered the children opportunities to train as full-time gymnasts, though it has retweeted such reports many times over.

The organization could not be reached for comment by Newsweek.

Competitive gymnasts are few and far between in India. According to Forbes, Dipa Karmakar was the first Indian female gymnast to ever compete in the Olympics during the last games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and she was the first Indian gymnast of any gender to compete in 52 years.

Viral video of gymnastics in Kolkata
The video of the children cartwheeling on the streets of Kolkata, which was shot by dance teacher Shekhar Rao, went viral after India's Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Nadia Comaneci tweeted it over the weekend. Screengrab