As she gears up for the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles graces the cover of Health’s July/August issue, opening up on being the greatest of all time, taking care of her mental health, and being a Black gymnast in a sport that was, for a long time, devoid of diversity.
- On hearing that the Olympics were postponed in 2020: “It was a whirlwind of emotions—I couldn’t believe the news,” she says. “I was sad. I was angry. I was annoyed. But I also knew it needed to happen to keep everyone safe and get the virus under control.” “I knew my coaches would make sure I was ready—no matter how long the postponement was,” says Simone. “Of course, another year of training on your body really takes a toll. But I just knew I’d be ready.”
- On why it’s meaningful that her parents own a training center: “Representation matters, and we want to inspire the next generation to pursue their passion,” Simone says. “Kids can come in and we will be training in the back, and they can see we are just like them. It helps them understand they can do it too.”
- On making self-care essential with her support system: “For a while, I saw a psychologist once every two weeks,” she says. “That helped me get in tune with myself so that I felt more comfortable and less anxious.” “I really like to relax,” she says with a laugh. “So I’ll hang by the pool with my boyfriend, or have my family come over.”
- On advice she’d give to her younger self: “To not be so stubborn and to be a little bit happier—to know that it’s not over just because something happens in one day. You can keep pushing.” Has she taken her own advice? She sure has—well, part of it, at least. “I’m definitely happy,” she says. “I guess I can still be pretty stubborn.”
The issue is available for purchase on June 11th.
[Photo Credit: AB + DM/Shape Magazine]