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Omaha gymnast representing team USA at Pan American Championships in Brazil

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 19:15:57-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — UPDATE 7/15/22:

Zeiss is currently in first place after the first session in Brazil.

ORIGINAL STORY 7/14/22:

Dreams have become reality for Omaha gymnast Lexi Zeiss.

"I wear all of my USA stuff so much because it's so fun," Zeiss said.

After finishing second in the all-around competition at the Pan American Trials the 16-year-old was selected to make the trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to compete for Team USA in the Pan American Gymnastics Championships.

"I remember going into the trials and thinking no pressure, whatever happens, happens,” Zeiss said. “Only six of us made it and only five are on the team, one is an alternate. So, for me to be on the team is crazy."

It is her first time representing the country, and it has just finally set in the last few days.

"I got here and went to my first practice with my team USA stuff on, and people were asking us for pictures, and I was like, 'Oh! Ok, I'm in Brazil,'" Zeiss said.

The Omaha native started when she was just 18 months old, but it was only to get her prepared for other sports.

Eventually, the focus changed.

She is now experiencing what thousands and thousands of girls around the country dream of.

"Every meet your goal is to show the national staff that you're good enough and that you can reach that dream. But like, you also have to be realistic with yourself and be like, 'Ok, is this really going to happen?'” Zeiss said. “Obviously, you want to push yourself but it's such a small percentage of kids who get to do this. I've been dreaming of it for a long time but it's crazy that it actually happened."

Zeiss went to Westside Community Schools up until last August. She moved to Minnesota to take the next step in her training.

However, she won't forget her time and the people at Westside anytime soon.

"They've been a huge help along the way so I'm hoping I will be able to keep going back there and seeing everybody,” Zeiss said. “Because they've been a huge part of the journey, for sure."

Competition starts Friday morning at 6:30 a.m., and the team finals will take place Sunday.

To follow the live competition - click here.