Simone Biles Says 'I'm Doing This Just for Me' as She Looks Toward 2020 Olympics
Simone Biles is opening up about her future as a part of the changing USA Gymnastics program.
The decorated gymnast, 22, appeared on Today, where she discussed with host Savannah Guthrie her recent history-making performances and her thoughts looking ahead to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
In early August, 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, a former doctor.
Guthrie asked Biles about her emotional comments, adding that many people forget that while the gymnast is out breaking records, she’s also healing — and “doing both at the same time.”
“What has this journey been for you?” Guthrie questioned Biles.
“I feel like it’s been a roller coaster. A lot of highs, a lot of lows,” she said.
“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.”
In response to Biles’ comments on the gymnastics program, Li Li Leung, the new president and CEO of USA Gymnastics issued a statement recently that “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,” she told Guthrie.
The athlete also discussed her recent performances at the USA Gymnastics Championships, admitting that she “had no idea how viral it was going to go.”
“I thought that nothing was really going to happen … not too many people pay attention to gymnastics, especially in a non-Olympic year so it was crazy to see how viral it went. It just kept accumulating, and it is still going. It is kind of crazy,” she added.
Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, was the first female gymnast to ever land the triple-double in competition, 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 nail 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.