Two Reasons to Get Excited for Rio: Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles, Who Ruled the Gymnastics World Championships – And Now They're Looking Ahead
World champion Simone Biles took home four golds, and one bronze medal from this year's Gymnastics World Championships
Clear the mats – the champions have officially arrived.
Setting the stage for next year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, U.S. teen gymnasts Simone Biles and Gabrielle Douglas took first and second place in the all-around competition at the 2015 Gymnastic World Championships.
Biles took home four golds from the Scotland competition: team, all-around, floor and beam; and one bronze: vault. Olympic gold medalist Douglas, 19, won silver in the all-around.
The 18-year-old Biles is a force to be reckoned with – she has the most world championship medals ever by an American woman, and, with 10 golds, the most by a female gymnast, according to the Associated Press..
She’s also won three world gymnastics titles in a row – a record. The teen is poised to make history in Rio, but she’s totally cool about it.
Aimee Boorman, Biles’ longtime coach, said the athlete remains modest. “It’s interesting – she doesn’t really see herself as being amazing,” Boorman told USA Today. “She just sees herself as a gymnast and she puts other people up on a pedestal and she’s not one of the people she puts on a pedestal.”
Douglas stole America’s hearts in 2012 as part of the Fierce Five when she nabbed Olympic gold in London, but has since taken two years off.
The recent high school graduate is the first reigning Olympic women’s all-around champion to place on the podium at the World competition since 1981, reported the AP.
Both girls face pressure as the 2016 games fast approach, with Biles up against a curse, among other things.
In six out of the last seven Olympic Games, the woman who was the world champion the previous year went on to lose the Olympic all-around title, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Biles – and her teammates – have their eye on the prize, though, and no matter what, the girls have each other’s backs.
“She’s amazing,” Douglas told USA Today of Biles. “Me and Simone, we really wanted to go out here and just have fun. We’re like, ‘Let’s crush it! Let’s break the events!’ We just really wanted to enjoy it because it goes by so fast.”