ROAD TO RIO: Gymnasts explain why they hate shaking hands

Simone Biles competes on the uneven bars during the women's U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials in San Jose, Calif., Friday. AP Photo

During every Summer Olympics, the gymnasts invariably become some of the biggest stars. They thrill millions on TV during the games, and are surrounded by fans asking for pictures and autographs afterwards. They’re happy to do it, as long as you don’t ask to shake their hands.

Jake Dalton, who will compete in Rio, explained why. “They’re callused. They’re pretty rough. Usually a lot of people do not like to touch them. I mean there are calluses everywhere, rips, blood blisters and all that,” Dalton said.

“I mean, your hands are not meant to be walked on and do all that crazy stuff on, and catch releases, fly from one bar to another,” Madison Kocian said. “Sometimes I wonder like if I am shaking someone’s hand what they’re thinking.”

Kocian will also be competing in Rio.

“Yeah they’re bad,” said Sam Mikulak, who will be competing with the Team USA.

MyKayla Skinner is an alternate for Team USA. “If you’re like talking to a guy or something and he wants to hold your hand or shake hands when your first meeting him, you’re like, ‘Aw he’s so cute; don’t touch my hands … cause you don’t like me anymore,'” Skinner joked.

Maggie Nichols and Brenna Dowell are also featured in this video. Nichols and Dowell did not make the Olympic team.

The Opening Ceremony for the Rio Olympic Games can be seen August 5 on News Channel 8. Stay with WFLA to watch the gymnasts and our other U.S. athletes.

News Channel 8’s Paul Ryan will be in Rio with live reports during the Olympics, which run from Aug. 5 – 21. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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