Simone Biles is still days away from making her competitive debut at Tokyo 2020, but she's already making waves on social media.
The five-time Olympic artistic gymnastics medallist, who won four gold medals at Rio 2016, became the first Olympic athlete to have a personalised Twitter icon this week. When users post using the hashtags #SimoneBiles or #Simone, a goat in a leotard performing a split leap with a gold medal around its neck shows up. The goat is a nod to discussions that Biles is her sport’s greatest of all time (G.O.A.T.).
Though Biles has shied away from conversations around her status in the sport, she has playfully alluded to it, including a training leotard in 2019 to competitive leotards and sandals earlier this year that included a goat emblazoned in crystals. She told fans on social media that the goat's name is, fittingly, Goldie, and the 24-year-old even received a blanket featuring a goat on her airplane flight to Tokyo.
In addition to being the first Olympian to have her own emoji, Biles is also the first female athlete to have the honour. NFL players like Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes also had personalised emojis.
The emoji evoked reaction far and wide, including from the Olympics’ own official Twitter handle.
“Don’t mind us, just testing out the #SimoneBiles emoji,” the tweet read.
Biles’ coach Cecile Landi, a 1996 Olympian for Team France, weighed in as well, saying, “This is pretty cool.”
While 2004 Olympic floor exercise champion Kyle Shewfelt of Canada said that Biles “deserves a thousand emojis,” after the superstar executed her much talked about Yurchenko double pike during Thursday’s (22 July) official practice.