How Simone Biles is Handling all the Pressure Since the 2016 Rio Olympics
Simone Biles quite literally flipped into the spotlight when she became the most highly anticipated athlete to watch during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics. Before the Games, Simone went into the 2016 season as the reigning national champion, and didn’t plan on giving up the title. She became the national champion for both her vault and floor routines and then became the all-around national champion once again. She obviously was the top pick for the 2016 Olympic team and became a member of the incredible Final Five, alongside Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian.
At the Rio Olympics, Simone won four Olympic gold medals, set an American record for most gold medals in women’s gymnastics at a single Games, and is known as being the best gymnast to ever compete at the Olympics. Simone has taken the past year off of training for some well-deserved rest and relaxation, but she’s now ready to hit the gym and has her eyes on the 2020 Olympics.
We talked with Simone about how she’s handling all the pressure, why she thinks supporting young female athletes is so important and her partnership with Girls on the Run.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m all about pursuing your dreams, never giving up and being confident in yourself which is why I’m so excited to support @girlsontheruninternational! The best part? @Target, with the support of @Always_brand, is donating $1 million to provide thousands more girls the opportunity to participate in the Girls on the Run program. Together, we can help girls stay confident at puberty, and beyond. #ad
It can’t be easy having millions of people watch and scrutinize your every move, but Simone has her own way to handle the pressure.
“I try not to think of it too much because I can’t control [how people view me],” Simone told Clevver.com in an exclusive interview. “I can only control what I do.”
This attitude is what spurred Simone to want to work with Girls on the Run, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.
“I’m so excited to support Girls on the Run in partnership with Always and Target because it’s a great organization that helps girls build their confidence at a young age,” Simone said. “According to Girls on the Run, girls’ confidence begins to drop when they’re 9 years old and by the time they turn 10, their physical activity levels also begin to decline — these stats are eye-opening and it’s important to make sure that girls constantly feel supported, especially during adolescence when they’re experiencing various changes.”
We love Simone’s commitment to encouraging and supporting girls to stay active, especially because it’s such an important piece of her success story.
“I didn’t [participate in an organization like Girls on the Run growing up], but I wish I would have had the opportunity and the chance to because I remember having confidence issues,” Simone said. “I would wear jackets to school to hide my arms, to hide my body. But when I would go to the gym, I’d be wearing a leotard and all the girls there looked like me and I felt more confident. I learned leadership in the gym and how to be confident in not only what I was doing in sports, but also with my body.”
Although Simone is literally the best gymnast in the world right now, she still has moments of doubt and insecurity.
“There were times when I was 13, 14 years old that I was really scared about what the outcome was going to be because you’re looking far into the future,” Simone recalled. “You have to call the shots in hopes that they work and you ask yourself, ‘Can I do this?’ and you’re not really sure, so it’s very difficult. I feel like every athlete at some point in their lives has the thought that they don’t have what it takes, but I think that shows our motivation to make it.”
It’s crazy to think that even superstars like Simone doubt themselves, which is another reason why we love her so much. Her year off from gymnastics is coming to an end and we are so excited to see her back in her element, even if she’s a little nervous.
“[I’m nervous about] conditioning because I hate conditioning,” Simone said. “I know I have lost a little bit of muscle and I’ll need to gain that back. That part scares me a little bit.”
We have a feeling that Simone is going to better than ever before by this time next year, if that’s even possible.