Celebrities

Starstruck Simone Biles gets a kiss from her crush: Zac Efron

Movie star and Arroyo Grande native Zac Efron poses for a photo with Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles in Rio de Janeiro.
Movie star and Arroyo Grande native Zac Efron poses for a photo with Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles in Rio de Janeiro.

Simone Biles, the biggest breakout star of the Rio Olympics, was starstruck.

It was understandable — despite four gold medals, the gymnast is still a 19-year-old meeting movie star Zac Efron.

But Efron, who grew up in Arroyo Grande, might be an even bigger fan of Biles. He spent all week tweeting admiration for the U.S. gymnastics team and sending along congratulations when Biles and the “Final Five” took home the team gold.

They finally came face to face in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday and Efron, 28, said his “Olympic dream came true.”

Both Efron and Biles shared pictures of the encounter on Twitter, and Efron said he was rooting on the Americans during the floor exercise final.

Biles won the event to complete a historic run in Rio where she won five medals in eight days. Biles, who was a tween when Efron rose to stardom on “High School Musical,” said on Twitter : “Just call me Mrs. Efron already.”

Efron, who grew from his Central Coast roots to Hollywood stardom, has a down-to-earth history of reaching out to fans — especially those back home.

Around Thanksgiving in 2011, the film and TV star donated more than 300 items of clothing to the Children’s Resource Network of the Central Coast, a nonprofit that lets disadvantaged and homeless teens or their parents to pick out and try on donated clothing

In 2012, Efron surprised his former drama teacher during her retirement tribute at the Clark Center for the Performing Arts.

Robyn Metchik taught Efron at Paulding Middle School and at Arroyo Grande High School. Efron flew to California the night before to surprise Metchik.

Efron also co-created a skateboard company that launched last year in San Luis Obispo. The company’s designs include several Central Coast-themed boards.

Tribune staff writer Mark Powell contributed to this report.

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