The phenomenal Simone Biles

For some reason, the older I get the less enthused I am about the Olympics. I’m not sure why, but I know I used to be glued to the television about 20 years ago. Now the only people I’m interested in are Michael Phelps—just so I can see if he can make that comeback—and especially the phenomenal 19-year-old Simone Biles, who could win as many as five gold medals in women’s gymnastics. Mary Lou Retton—and others—have called her the greatest gymnast in history, and I’ve certainly never seen her kind of athleticism. She’s tiny (4′ 9″), but apparently made of springs.

Today’s New York Times has an interactive piec on Biles that you can scroll through, seeing lots of gifs of Biles and her signature moves, as well as some analysis that shows why she’s unique. Believe me, if you have any interest in sports, you’ll want to go through it.

I’ll be gone for most of the Olympics, and there’s no t.v. here anyway, so I’ll miss it. The rest of you: enjoy. Here’s a taste:


  1. Merilee
    Posted August 5, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink


  2. Joseph Stans
    Posted August 5, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Clearly, Simone Biles knows the exact relationship between every molecule in her body and most celestial objects – no to mention all the elements of the exercise.

    I know this is true because I threw my knee out operating the coffee machine while she was doing these feats of magic.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 6, 2016 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      I watched her routine flat on my back in bed, whilst eating an ‘ASDA Mexican bean ‘n’ cheese fajita’, and part of it flew out of my mouth when she did that bum-falling bit at the end. I then got it on my foot when I stood up and banged my head on a cupboard whilst trying to scrape it off.

  3. Posted August 5, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Another impressive gymnast is Oksana Chusovitina, who is 41 and competing in her *seventh* Olympic Games.

  4. Kevin
    Posted August 5, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Michael will probably be historic and probably Biles. I too have lost interest as years go by; but then again, world records, in my opinion, are more important that the spectacle of Olympic medals.

  5. Posted August 5, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    wow these girls are in shape. Perfect routine.

  6. Posted August 5, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know whether it has anything to do with age Jerry, but I feel the same. In my case it started when the amateur aspect of the games ended. When the Olympics was full of people who competed for the love of the sport rather than money.
    I still enjoy watching, but too much time is spent profiling athletes who’s stories I no longer care about. For example every athlete who will compete in the 100 meter dash is likely already making six figures on the track, and field circuit. Winning or placing in the finals is not going to be the big break for any of them, the most elite are already making millions in appearance bonuses, and sponsorships.

    • Posted August 5, 2016 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      I wanted to add for the Americans reading who might be confused by my prior comment. Unlike in the states track, and field is a big deal in much of the world with top athletes having fame on the order of star basketball players in the US.

      • rickflick
        Posted August 5, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Aren’t the greatest athletes in the world worth millions? Would you rather have them near starving just to make a noble point? Let them earn what the market can bear. Why the hell not?

        • Posted August 5, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          “Aren’t the greatest athletes in the world worth millions? Would you rather have them near starving just to make a noble point?”

          They’re worth what people are willing to pay them, and that was true when the Olympics only allowed amateurs. Athletes who wanted to make money gave up their amateur status, those who wanted to compete in the Olympics didn’t. Yes that’s noble, and caused me to care much more about their successes, failures, and their struggle to achieve greatness.

  7. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted August 5, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Phenomenal. But Nadia Comaneci would surely still rank up there. As for the current Olympics, I will also recommend looking for Kohei Uchimura, who is also said to be the greatest at gymnastics.

  8. W.Benson
    Posted August 5, 2016 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Another in the running is 16 y.o. Brazilian gymnast Flavia Saraiva. Take a look.

  9. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 5, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    The Olympics, like many sports, is full of people perfectly adapted to their sport to the point that they are somewhat freakish outside their sport (very small female gymnasts who are prevented from physically developing are an example).

    • Merilee
      Posted August 5, 2016 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      Simone is short but very muscular. She doesn’t look at all underdevelopd ( unlike some).

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 6, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        The trend in gymnastics was to do whatever it took to stop a girl from coming into puberty so a lot of them remained rather child like in appearance with the size of their hips, bust, etc. This ensured their body didn’t up and change on them and screw up their balance. Sometimes, the girls were also deliberately stunted in their growth so their increase in height didn’t mess things up either.

  10. keith cook + / -
    Posted August 5, 2016 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    To score a gold over Simone Biles would be an Olympic games you would never forget. Oh well there is always a silver medal.
    Good luck to the dedicated and passionate is all I can say..

  11. W.Benson
    Posted August 5, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Brazil Olympics ceremony starting with the evolution of life, and Jerry is missing it!

  12. Posted August 5, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    That was spectacular. I’ve never seen anything like her talent.

  13. Posted August 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    damn. her power, skill and control are amazing. She’s one of the few who make the whole sequence look like one piece, not “artsy bit” then gymnastics then “artsy bit”.

  14. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted August 6, 2016 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    I keep wanting to read this as “The pheromonal Simone Biles”. (This is a biology site after all.)

  15. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted August 6, 2016 at 2:50 am | Permalink


  16. Mike
    Posted August 8, 2016 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Incredible talent, and a smile to light up a room.

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