Why Simone Biles Felt “Called” to Return to the Olympics

Simone Biles, Shonda Rhimes and More Black Women Who Inspire Us Daily

For Simone Biles, competing in the upcoming Summer Olympics is about more than a medal.

“It’s stressful whenever I go out and compete,” the 24-year-old gymnast told Hoda Kotb during an interview for Today, “because I’m trying to be better than I was at the last meet. So, I’m trying to beat myself. And sometimes, you get caught up in that moment, and it’s just scary. Because I go out and I’m like, ‘Can I do it again? Can I be this good? And can I repeat what I did last Olympics?’ And I feel like that’s what motivates me.” 

Biles won five medals (four gold and one bronze) when she competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Add them to her 25 World medals, and she’s the most decorated U.S. women’s gymnast in history. But she isn’t done yet. Biles is set to compete in the Tokyo Games, which will be held July 23 to August 8 after being postponed for a year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“I knew I had more to give to the sport for myself and I felt like I had a purpose,” she said when asked about her decision to come back. “And now, I feel like I do, and it’s to be a voice for the younger generation. And I feel like I’ve done that. So, I feel like God just called me.”

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