Simone Biles: ‘I feel like now I don’t have to prove anything to anybody’


When Simone Biles is photographed for magazine editorials, the photographer usually tries to capture her youthful, fun energy, or they do “in motion” poses to show off her physicality and grace. But I kind of love that WSJ. Magazine went in a different direction. They styled her in mostly sedate, almost conservative clothing. The setting looks like her grandma’s house. She looks like a woman, not a girl. She still looks like Simone, of course. But it’s just nice to see her photographed and styled a different way. Anyway, Simone is one of the few major athletic stars going to Tokyo shortly. Simone walks into Tokyo as a sure thing, or as much of a sure thing as any athlete can be. She spoke to WSJ. Magazine (via People) about preparing for the Olympics:

She thought she already peaked in 2016: She “thought [she’d] hit the peak of [her] career” in 2016, after nabbing four gold medals and one bronze at the Games in Rio de Janeiro. “I was like, ‘How can I get any better than that?’ ” said Biles, who will compete as part of Team USA once more this year. She added of her time after Rio, “And so I was really nervous walking into the gym.”

Learning to enjoy gymnastics on her terms: “Now I can enjoy my gymnastics. It’s really up to me. And that probably also comes along with how many titles I’ve won and everything I’ve established. It’s like, okay, well, the facts are on the paper. I feel like now I don’t have to prove anything to anybody. I’m trying to level up.”

She still can’t believe she kept racking up medals: “I wouldn’t say I thought ’13 was a fluke. But I was like, ‘Oh, whatever, I won; next year somebody else will be the winner.’ And then ’14 happened and I won, and I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh; what is happening?’ And then ’15 happened, and I was like, ‘Who am I? This could be really good. I could make the Olympic team!’ ”

Her future: “I feel like for all these years I’ve kind of let gymnastics do the talking, and I’ve kind of stamped my position there. So at the end of the day, I can say I’ve done it all, and more.”

[From People]

I think the people around Simone always knew she was good, good enough to eventually make the Olympic team, but they didn’t want to stress her out about it. She seems happier when she doesn’t have that pressure of “I have to do this and this by age whatever” etc. She was 19 years old when she swept the Olympics in Rio – to do it again at the age of 24, she has to believe that she has nothing else to prove. She doesn’t! Like Serena Williams said when she reached a certain number of Slams, she’s playing for history and for fun. That’s Simone now – just seeing how much further she can go. I’m so excited for this!!

Cover & IGs courtesy of WSJ. Magazine.

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22 Responses to “Simone Biles: ‘I feel like now I don’t have to prove anything to anybody’”

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  1. Smile says:

    Love her!!!

  2. Edna says:

    I love these photos of Simone. I just wish the media (and everyone else) would lay off the Women’s gymnastics team. The amount of pressure they’re under is ridiculous and most of it is brought on by the unnecessary (and unhealthy) rantings of the media. I have to mute the television to even watch the Olympic coverage.

    • Babz says:

      I watch the taped version on the NBC Sports app. There is no commentary, and it’s filmed real time, so you feel like you’re there. I get a notification that it’s on. I don’t have to stay up half the night (even though I do a lot of times anyway). I stay away from articles about the rankings. The best part is the no commentary. I think Peacock has it too, but I’m satisfied with the NBC app – plus it’s free!

  3. Lily P says:

    She’s awesome! Her floor performances and the sheer heights she can reach will never fail to astound me – so powerful.

  4. Liz version 700 says:

    She looks stunning. Love her in sports and life

  5. terra says:

    I was talking with my uncle last night while he was watching skateboarding coverage and I mentioned how I’m pretty much exclusively excited to see Simone compete this year. Now, my uncle is a sports person and always has been, but he’s more a baseball/football/basketball kind of guy.

    He does not watch gymnastics or anything even close to it, so imagine my surprise when he asked me, ‘do you know how many moves are named after her? Four!’ At one point I said that I didn’t know if any athlete in any sport had ever dominated quite the way she has and he agreed, going so far as to break out GOAT to describe her.

    It just confirmed for me how huge a deal she really is. *Everyone* knows Simone and *everyone* knows she’s the best. It feels like you’re watching history every time she competes.

    • Shawna says:

      My mother-in-law had to look up what GOAT meant! She transcends any specific sport or generation.

  6. Ninks says:

    The first time I ever heard of Simone Biles was pre Rio. Somebody i follow on Twitter retweeted an article about her. The journalist has wondered how much power she was generating in her tumbles and contacted a maths professor to work it out. He calculated that the power she needed to generate to reach the height and speed of her flips and land on her feet with a force of something per second per second. Whatever his answer was, he was so astonished by it that he was convinced he’d done the maths wrong because there was no way a human body could withstand it. So I always think about that whenever I hear about her. It always puts what she does in context for me because i know nothing about gymnastics and she is so incredible at what she does that she makes it look almost effortless to her that I need to be reminded that she’s superhuman.

  7. Thirtynine says:

    As well as being an amazing athlete, she looks stunning in that red satiny dress.

  8. Premadonna says:

    Wow!!! I cant believe i never realized what a beautiful face she has!!! 🤩🤩🤩🤩

  9. psl says:

    I adore her.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      As do I. She is the epitome of an inspiration and I have such admiration for her. She is so down to earth. I absolutely love how WSJ featured her in their magazine, reminding us all that she is a full grown woman now.

  10. EveV says:

    She is so amazing and inspirational to women and girls, alike. I’m glad to hear that she seems like she’s in a mentally good headspace, even though she has been through a lot and gotten more than her share of hate for absolutely no reason. It really pisses me off how media treat black women vs white women (and I say that as a white woman).
    Anyways, go Simone!! I’m rooting for you!!

  11. Theothermia says:

    Love her

  12. Mcmmom says:

    I bought a new exercise outfit at Athleta because she modeled it. I may not be Simone Biles, but I can dress like her! Well, kinda – I can wear the same leggings.

  13. JanetDR says:

    She is such a lovely young woman! It has been marvelous watching what she can do. I’m usually a lot more excited about watching the winter Olympics but I certainly will be watching the gymnastics.

  14. Shannon says:

    The image that will remain with me is Simone comforting Chiles after she fell on BB. That’s love, because Biles did it right before she had to perform. If you watch the NBC Olympics app, you can hear Jordan bawling. I cried with her, but loved how Simone handled that pressure and consoled her teammate, then did an almost flawless routine…. Except for the dismount.

    She’s so famed powerful she over rotated her own move.

    TF will take a lot of heat, but you can’t really predict nerves on this level.

  15. Isa says:

    She’s so incredible.

  16. Christina says:

    So, by most gym fans reckoning, Simone had an “off” day during qualifications. For her an “off” day still entailed qualifying to every event final and qualifying first to the AA final. Which would be unheard of success for anyone else, but for Simone, she had a bad day in qualification…

    She ready is being measured only against herself at this point.

    • kimmy says:

      There’s just no one else to compare her to at this point! I can’t imagine the pressure she feels!

      But between last night and the Olympic trials, I really want to see her “on”, you know? She’s so amazing to watch. I want to see her stick her landings. I don’t want her to win just because she outscores everyone (even though she will), I want to see the rock solid Simone Biles crushing the competition.

  17. ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

    She is my 8 year old’s first hero and I am so glad.

  18. Joanna says:

    I love her’ please more articles about her