"If I were to label myself as a superstar, it would bring more expectations on me and I would feel pressured," Simone Biles said
Even with four Olympic gold medals under her belt, Simone Biles refrains from calling herself a “superstar” gymnast.
During Tuesday’s press conference before the 2019 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Germany, Biles, 22, explained why she opts not to use the praising label despite her incredible success.
“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 explained.
“I just go out there and compete,” Biles added. “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.'”
While at the German competition, Biles once again did the unimaginable, landing the first triple-twisting double tuck to ever be done by a woman on a world podium, according to USA Gymnastics.
“What has this journey been for you?” Guthrie asked Biles.
“I feel like it’s been a roller coaster. A lot of highs, a lot of lows,” she said.
Earlier that month, Biles slammed USA Gymnastics for not looking out for her and her fellow athletes, weeks after a congressional investigation reportedly found that the organization “knowingly concealed” sexual abuse by Larry Nassar, the organization’s former team doctor.
The athlete told Guthrie in her Today interview that many people forget that while she is out breaking records, she’s also healing — and “doing both at the same time.”
“Coming back I’m doing this just for me and I think that this is different than the last time around, for me I feel like I have nothing to prove to anyone and I think that’s what keeps me in the sport besides love and passion,” the gymnast explained.
In response to Biles’ comments on the gymnastics program, Li Li Leung, the new president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, issued a recent statement that said “the organization has silenced gymnasts and that time is no more.” However, Biles shared that she feels Leung’s words might not be enough to enact change.
“I feel like you can always talk the talk, but you have to show up and you have to prove. You just have to do your job at the end of the day. It would almost be better if you just proved to everyone rather than talking because talking is easy,” Biles told Guthrie.
Biles became the first female gymnast to ever land the triple-double at the USA Gymnastics Championship and just the third athlete ever, according to the Washington Post. She was also the first woman to even attempt a double-double dismount move in competition and nailed it successfully, according to CNN.
“It felt incredible,” she said. “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.”
Biles is currently preparing to represent the United States once again at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.