Simone Biles is easily one of the greatest gymnasts not only of her time, but of all time. She has four Olympic gold medals and is a 14-time World Champion, and even has moves named after her at only 22-years-old. Yet, the young gymnast refuses to label herself a “superstar” and has an important reason why.
The gymnast’s incredible power and skills have been recognized by fans of the sport as well as other famous faces including activist and actress Jameela Jamil, NBA Star LeBron James and the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. Biles has also officially become the most successful female gymnast in world championship history by winning her 21st world medal at the 2019 World Gymnastics Championships. Though many would put her on celebrity status or deem her a megastar, the gymnast simply wants to focus on her work in the gym and her results on the competition floor. “If I were to label myself as a superstar, it would bring more expectations on me and I would feel pressured, more in the limelight, rather than now,” the gymnast revealed during the pre-competition press conference at the 2019 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Germany. “I just go out there and compete. [I] try to represent Simone, not ‘Simone Biles’ whenever I go out there, because, at the end of the day, I’m still a human being before I’m ‘Simone Biles, the superstar.'” The gymnast added, “I just try not to pay attention to [others’ expectations] and go out there and do what I’m training to do. It’s hard, but I manage.”
Highs And Lows
As a regular human being, the gymnast’s life story has been far from perfect. Over the summer, she spoke with Savannah Guthrie on Today about her journey thus far. “I feel like it’s been a roller coaster. A lot of highs, a lot of lows,” Biles admitted. From long hours in the gym to injuries and major defeats, the gymnast has been through it all. She, along with other gymnasts on her team, also suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar, the former team doctor of USA Gymnastics. Her older brother, Tevin Biles-Thomas, was also recently arrested on triple-murder charges (he has pleaded not guilty). Yet, the gymnast is pressing on, working towards healing while prepping for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
In the midst of her preparation for next year’s Olympics, Biles is still making history, which is why many give her the title of “superstar” in the first place. Biles became the first female gymnast to ever land the triple-double (a double backflip with three twists) at the USA Gymnastics Championship. She was also the first woman to even attempt a double-double dismount move in competition and nailed it successfully there. “It felt incredible,” she revealed in an interview. “No female has ever done that skill before. I had trained it for a while now, so it was kind of just normal for me but looking back at the videos, it doesn’t look normal and I know it is not normal.” Also, while competing at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, the gymnast landed that triple-double in her floor routine, as well as her double-double dismount again. The jaw-dropping moves will be named after Biles once the sport’s governing body, the Federation of International Gymnastics, gives its approval. To have a move named after a gymnast, the competitor must successfully perform it in the world championships or at the Olympics. Biles already has two moves named for her, one in the floor exercise and one on a vault. So, though she’s not a superstar in her eyes, this gymnast has certainly made her mark in the sport.
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