Netflix's Cheer has returned, with a new season following the nation's best cheerleaders as they train for the Daytona championships. This round, the docuseries follows two teams: the Navarro College group we came to love in the first season and their rivals, the mega-talented Trinity Valley Community College team. We also met Angel Rice, an international cheer star and member of Trinity Valley.
The 23-year-old from Georgia is already four-time world champion for cheer, and a USA Gymnastics team member. If you were on the internet in 2015, odds are you saw her viral power tumbling videos, where she did consecutive flips and even won a Guinness World Record. Here's everything we know about the star called the "Simone Biles of Cheerleading."
She went viral for her tumbling in 2015.
Rice became a national cheerleading star after a video of her tumbling went viral in 2015. She and her mom, Tonya, made an appearance on Today that year, where the teen broke a Guinness World Record, performing 10 double full twists in less than a minute.
She also told NBC News in 2016 that her goal was to compete in the Olympics in power tumbling. Since then, she's become a member of the a USA Gymnastics National Power Tumbling team, winning fourth place at the 2018 USA Gymnastics championships.
She got her start in cheer at age 5.
Rice told NBC News that she became interested in tumbling as a three-year-old. Her older sister also took power tumbling classes at a gym, but the family couldn't afford for both of them to take it, so their mother taught Rice herself.
"She would just watch and try to do what [the tumbling teachers] did," Rice said. "At first, she didn’t want me to do it because it was too expensive. So it made me work harder."
Her mom later began working at a gym, Jam's Athletics, where Rice began cheering competitively when she was five. She later got serious about tumbling and joined FlipCity South at age 12, which was featured in Cheer as the gym where DeVonte "Dee" Joseph also trained.
Her brother's also a cheerleader with Trinity Valley.
Rice's whole family is all about cheerleading. Her younger brother, Jaden "Jaymo" Rice, is also a Trinity Valley cheerleader, and the siblings are both featured in Cheer. Both Angel and coach Vontae Johnson call Jaden talented, with Angel saying on the show, "It's actually kinda funny having my brother on the same team as me because I watched him grow from a baby till now . . . "
She still cheers for Trinity Valley.
Both Angel and Jaden Rice stayed enrolled at the junior college in Athens, Texas, for the 2021-2022 season, with the hopes of a consecutive win at Daytona. The 23-year-old has been documenting the school season on her Instagram, along with pics of her family and the kids she coaches at the Stingrays Allstars John Creek gym in Georgia.
Quinci LeGardye is a LA-based culture writer who covers TV, movies and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.