#RepresentationMatters and there’s no disputing.
4-year-old Verity Ofori-Kuragu since age two had begun doing handstands, taking on love to gymnastics. Inspired by Olympic gold medalist Biles ever since her mum had begun showing her videos of her, she decided to dedicate her “Gymnast of the Week” trophy to the Most decorated gymnast Simone Biles.
A native of the United Kingdom but with roots in Ghana, Verity fell in love with the sport after seeing British gymnast Joe Fraser showing off some of his skills.
“I assured Verity that when she turned 3 [in March 2020], we would enroll her to start doing gymnastics,” Verity’s mother Britta Ofori-Kuragu told Because Of Them We Can.
But with the pandemic, plans had to be put on hold and the aspiring gymnast had to wait a whole year before she could begin classes. In the meantime, Britta began showing Verity videos of Simone Biles on Youtube, Verity often remarking that Biles “looked like [her].”
“I believe Simone has inspired her so much to keep going…I believe Verity sees herself in Simone, and this helps her to realize what is possible for her and other children as well, in terms of what they can do and achieve with practice and determination,” Britta said.
Recently, Verity won “Gymnast of the Week,” bagging the trophy. The honor came on the heels of Biles’ decision to take a break from competing at some of the Olympic competitions due to her mental health. When Verity’s mother explained why she wouldn’t see Biles compete on TV for a while, the 4-year-old decided she would share her trophy with Biles.
“Hi Simone Biles, it’s Verity here…I love your gymnastics, and I’m sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. Well done for taking a break, and I’m dedicating my trophy to you. I hope you get better soon and you’re the greatest of all time. I love you, Simone,” Verity says in the video before blowing Biles some kisses.
The 4-year-old hopes to one day become an astronaut or a teacher, her parents thinking her gymnastics skills might serve her well in space. For now, she runs a business called “My Beyoutiful Identify by Verity,” selling “Baby Verity” dolls and other merchandise celebrating the beauty of Africa and African aesthetics. She also recently started a YouTube channel entitled “Authentically Verity.”
Her mom Britta says she will continue to nurture her daughter’s gifts and talents and is proud to be a mom to such a kind, friendly and confident little girl.
“I am a Purposeful Parenting Practitioner, and I am a firm believer in nurturing our children with gentleness and compassion, as these honour and preserve the essence of who they truly are… Verity’s name is synonymous with truth and authenticity, and I believe she lives that every day,” Britta said.