Tuesday, February 06, 2024
American gymnastics sensation Simone Biles is an inspiration for not only her fans but also her teammates as they prepare for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
She isn't just a powerhouse performer, she's a beacon of humility and camaraderie.
After a two-year hiatus, Biles, at 26, is gearing up to reclaim the spotlight, and it's not just her gravity-defying flips that make her a standout. Joscelyn Roberson, a 17-year-old teammate who shares the World Champions Centre in Spring, Texas, with Biles, reflects on the unique bond forged amidst their shared dreams of Olympic glory. "I feel like we're all trying to strive for the same goals, and we're all doing the same thing. So our struggles are similar. Getting to know Simone has honestly been so fun."
This camaraderie isn't confined to the gym floor. Biles's impact extends beyond the athletic realm. Roberson recalls the moment when Biles, captivated by a video of her performing gymnastic feats at the tender age of nine, shared it on social media, expressing genuine awe. "It just made me feel really special," Roberson reminisces.
Zoe Miller, another teammate, echoes Roberson's sentiments, placing greater emphasis on Biles's qualities as a person rather than her astounding gymnastic achievements. "Just because I know her on a way deeper level than most people do. She's very humble and she's very caring and is always looking out for me."
The team dynamics take an intriguing turn with Tiana Sumanasekera, a member of the Pan Am Games team, describing the group as a "very silly" one.
Sumanasekera, at 16, emphasises the role played by Biles and Miller in lightening the atmosphere during intense training sessions. "Whenever we are having a hard day or something, they're always there to crack a joke and make us laugh even if we're crying."
Jordan Chiles, who witnessed Biles's journey at the 2020 Tokyo Games, expresses profound pride in her comeback to gymnastics.
Chiles draws parallels between Biles and iconic figures in other sports, saying, "Being able to see her come back from Tokyo and seeing her be what she wants to be -- this girl is amazing, outstanding."