Simone Biles Practiced First Pitches for MLB Games to Not 'End Up in One of those "Fail" Videos'
"My dad made me stand in the driveway with him and throw a ball back and forth, just to make sure I knew how," Simone Biles told Uni Watch
Simone Biles is athletically disciplined — even in sports other than gymnastics.
In the interview, published this week, Biles said "never in [her] life" had she played softball or baseball before training to throw the pitches, which she had done both in 2016 and 2017 at that point. (She has since tossed once more: in 2019 during Game 2 of the World Series.)
"My dad made me stand in the driveway with him and throw a ball back and forth, just to make sure I knew how," she told Uni Watch.
Her father's reasoning? "He was like, 'You're not gonna end up in one of those "fail" videos,' " Biles quipped.
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Each time she has tossed the ball for the ceremonial first pitch, Biles has included a flip for emphasis, to the delight of the crowds.
Most recently, in 2019, the Houston native threw out the first pitch before the city's Astros faced off against the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park.
In her recently published 2018 conversation with Uni Watch, Biles said, "The flips were second nature, but throwing a ball afterward — I practiced that one or two times, just to make sure."
"I was so nervous. Much more nervous than I'd be for gymnastics," she continued, adding that she "switched it up" a bit between her first and second pitches, just to keep a fresh "routine."
Biles is getting ready to take on her second Summer Olympics in July, when she will head to Tokyo to compete as part of Team USA.
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Earlier this week, the four-time Olympic gold medalist opened up to Hoda Kotb on the Today show about how her return to the mat will be symbolic, after she previously went public with the abuse she experienced at the hands of convicted sexual predator and former Team USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
"Since I'm still here and I have quite a social media presence and platform, they have to do something," Biles told Kotb, 56. "So I feel like, coming back, gymnastics just wasn't the only purpose I was supposed to [have]."
"I just feel like [with] everything that happened, I had to come back to the sport to be a voice, to have change happen," she said.