Simone Biles, Most Decorated Gymnast in History, Poised for Tokyo 2020 - By Elizabeth Jeneault - J-Pop Exchange Information & Views
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Simone Biles, Most Decorated Gymnast in History, Poised for Tokyo 2020

By Elizabeth Jeneault for The J-Pop Exchange

United States artistic gymnast Simone Biles has her eyes set on Tokyo 2020 and is looking to clinch as many Olympic gold medals as possible. She says she’ll retire after those Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, so it might just be your last chance to catch the 22-year-old athlete in action!

After her sensational performance at the recent 2019 gymnastic world championships in Stuttgart, Germany, Biles seems more poised than ever to win big in Tokyo!

You might remember Biles first making Olympic headlines in 2016. She was part of the “Final Five,” the United States women’s team which took home gold in the team event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She clinched four Olympic gold medals and one bronze medal in Rio. Biles tied American swimmer Katie Ledecky with being the most decorated female athlete at those 2016 Games.

While petite in stature, there’s no doubt Biles is a powerhouse. Her 2016 performance etched her name in the sporting history books and she has only continued to dominate.

“It shows dreams can come true,” she said after those 2016 Olympic Games. I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps: I’m the first Simone Biles.”

Thanks to her recent standout performance in Stuttgart, Biles is headed into Tokyo 2020 with 25 world championship medals now under her belt. That makes her the most decorated gymnast in world championship history (men and women combined)!

Biles won her first medal in 2013 when she made her worlds debut. 19 of the 25 medals she now holds are gold.

Biles clinched five of those medals at the 2019 world championships in Stuttgart this past October. She also made history there by performing two dazzling new moves that now bear her name!

While Biles has already had a few other signature moves named after her, she performed a “triple-double” in the floor event and a “double-double” on the beam dismount to further cement her mark on artistic gymnastics. The “triple-double” (which is three twists with two flips) will be called the “Biles II.”

“I feel like putting my name on a skill is really rewarding, just because it’ll be in code forever,” she said.

As for how the petite athlete is able to perform those challenging and groundbreaking moves, she says she’s not even exactly sure sometimes!

“I feel like it’s not me. Sometimes I wonder how I do it. I wish I could have an out-of-body experience to witness it, because sometimes I think I’m going crazy,” said Biles. “I really don’t know how I do it sometimes.” While Biles knows she’ll be one of the biggest household names during the upcoming Olympics in the Japanese capital, she’s not letting the fame phase her.

“I never really think about it,” she said. “I just try to go in there and do what I came to do, my job. But it will be kind of crazy that I’ll be one of the biggest names out there. I feel like, for me, my accomplishments, I feel like it’s just going out there and hitting my routines the way I’m capable of. And then I’m pretty happy.”

In the meantime, Biles is training hard and working on her routines. After introducing those new skills at the 2019 world championships, she doesn’t necessarily intend on coming up with even more. Instead, she’s working on perfecting those moves.

“Right now, we’re kind of solidifying the routines,” she said.

She’s specifically looking to add to her Olympic gold medal haul in the all-around and apparatus events. To help her get there, she’s been working with two new coaches from France. Biles says Laurent and Cécile Landi have helped push her to the next level.

“Obviously Cécile and Laurent do a really good job at pushing me in the gym to do upgrades,” said Biles. “Not only because I’m ahead, but just for myself and to see what I can do and see how far I can push myself and what I can put out there. Because a lot of the skills were kind of unimaginable, but then we turned them into doing them for real. So that was pretty crazy.”

If you’re looking for a US athlete to cheer on during Tokyo 2020, Simone Biles is certainly a great athlete to get behind!

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