Simone Biles has learned to embrace her greatness even though she sometimes has trouble wrapping her mind around just how good she’s become. But as the countdown to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo begins, the superstar athlete, who was recently declared the most decorated female gymnast of all time, said she’s not going to hold back or deny that she’s good at what she does.
“It’s important to teach our female youth that it’s OK to say, ‘Yes, I am good at this,’ and you don’t hold back,” Biles said in an interview with USA TODAY.
The 22-year-old explained, “You only see the men doing it. And they’re praised for it and the women are looked down upon for it. But I feel like it’s good (to do) because once you realize you’re confident and good at it, then you’re even better at what you do.”
“It’s not out of cockiness,” she added. “I’ve won five world titles and if I say, ‘I’m the best gymnast there is,’ (the reaction is) ‘Oh, she’s cocky. Look at her now.’ No, the facts are literally on the paper. I think it’s important to teach (young girls) that.”
Biles went on to say that one of the things her favorite athlete, Serena Williams, taught her growing up is to own her confidence and not be afraid to show real, raw emotion.
“You don’t have to be a robot all the time, and you don’t always have to seem happy out there,” Biles explained. “It also shows kids that it’s OK, if you’re enjoying the moment, to smile, to be happy. If you’re not having a good time, it’s OK, you don’t have to hide that from people.”
Earlier this week, Biles made history by successfully landing the triple-double during her floor routine—a move that is now officially dubbed the Biles II. And on Thursday, October 10, she added another medal to her growing collection: She earned her 16th gold medal at the gymnastics world championships in Stuttgart, Germany, after winning her fifth world all-around title.
After her win, she admitted, “I really don’t know how I do it sometimes.”
“I don’t know; I feel like it’s not me,” Biles continued, per The New York Times. “Sometimes I wonder how I do it. I feel like it’s just, like, not me. I wish I could have like an out-of-body experience to witness it because sometimes I think I’m going crazy.”