In her upcoming docuseries Simone Versus Herself, Simone Biles has revealed her anxieties that she won’t be ‘as good’ when she participates in the postponed Tokyo Olympics, while also offering fans a behind-the-scenes peek at her preparation.
The seven-episode series, which will premiere on Facebook Watch on June 15, follows the gold medal-winning gymnast as she prepares physically and psychologically for her third Olympics, which have been postponed from 2020 to 2021 owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a voiceover, the 24-year-old says, ‘I never anticipated the Olympics would be postponed,’ as the film shows her exercising at World Champions Centre, her family’s gym in Spring, Texas.
‘If I have to return, will I be just as good?’ she enquires ‘Do you mind if I do it again?’
The series’ official trailer begins with Biles and her mother, Nellie, reflecting on one of her earlier competitive medals.
‘This is my first world medal,’ she says, bringing it up to the camera to reveal the ‘2013 Antwerp’ stamp.
‘I recall my coach saying to me, “You can’t make a mistake at this moment. Make a name for yourself in the world. There’s nothing to lose.”
‘And I was like, ‘You know what, you’re right, I’m a nothing!’ laughs the athlete.
Biles acknowledges in another scenario that she had no idea what people saw in her when she was six years old, despite the fact that she was already incredibly brilliant.
She recalls, ‘I just felt like a normal kid. I didn’t notice anything noteworthy.’
Another mother approached Nellie and complimented her, saying, ‘Simone is extremely good.’
“We were thinking, ‘Hmm, maybe she is,” the mother remembers.
Biles is the most decorated American gymnast of all time, with 30 medals from the Olympics and World Championships combined, but it just fuels her desire to improve.
‘Once I get onto the competition floor, I am competing against myself,’ she explains.
Biles isn’t resting on her laurels as she prepares for the Olympics.
She’s spent the last year and a half honing her Yurchenko double pike, a vault so difficult and dangerous to execute that no female competitor has ever tried it in competition.
A Yurchenko begins with a single flip, named after Natalia Yurchenko, a Russian gymnast who did the skill for the first time in the early 1980s.
While some gymnasts add twists to the technique to make it more difficult, Simone has gone one step further by adding a second flip while in the pike position.
Head or neck injuries could occur if the vaulter does not rotate enough during the double flip. This vault has been landed by some male gymnasts, but no female gymnast has ever attempted it in a competition.
Biles will most certainly be seen working on the deadly move in the series, but viewers won’t know until it airs.
The gymnast and her NFL star boyfriend, Houston Texans safety Jonathan Owens, are also featured in the series.
In the trailer, they compete in a rope climbing battle between gymnasts and NFL players, which Biles easily wins.
‘I’d had you about three-quarters of the way there. ‘I just burned out,’ Owens explains cheerfully.
The Simone vs Herself video was released on Tuesday, just days after Biles won a record-tying seventh U.S. Gymnastics Championship title.
After a poor start last Friday, Biles put on a four-rotation performance that demonstrated why a GOAT insignia — a reference to her reputation as the Greatest Of All Time — has become a permanent feature on her competition leotard.
Her two-day total of 119.650 was roughly five points higher than Sunisa Lee, the runner-up, and Jordan Chiles, a good friend and teammate.
Biles’s all-around score of 60.100 on Sunday was her highest since 2018, indicating that she is just getting better as the Tokyo Olympics approach in less than seven weeks.
While her triumph was never in doubt — as it rarely has been in her nearly eight-year tenure as the sport’s champion — she isn’t about to relax.
She didn’t even attempt the Yurchenko double-pike vault, which she drilled twice at the U.S. Classic earlier this month. Instead, she went with two that were a little easier.
The Yurchenko double pike will make a comeback at trials and, more than likely, in Tokyo, where, if she completes it in competition, another aspect of the sport’s Code of Points will be named after her.
Biles had been a shoo-in for Tokyo since returning to training in late 2017.