Simone Biles exclusive: "I'll be in Paris… one way or another"

In an interview to mark #1YearToGo to Tokyo 2020, the gymnastics champion did not explicitly rule out continuing beyond next year's Games in Japan.

By ZK Goh

Could we still see Simone Biles competing after Tokyo 2020 which officially opens in a year?


In an Instagram Live chat with the @Olympics handle to mark #1YearToGo to next year's Games in Japan, the four-time artistic gymnastics Olympic champion did not explicitly rule out competing at Paris 2024, where she would be 27 years old.

Her coaches, Laurent and Cecile Landi, are both from France, and Biles said they often mention it during practice sessions.

"You know, Cecile and Laurent joke about that a lot. It'd be really crazy because I don't get any younger as time goes on," Biles noted.

"I try to pass it on to the younger girls, telling them 'I'll probably be there to watch you'.

"But I'll be there, one way or another. Probably in the stands."

New skills

The Houston superstar has been back in training for a while now after seven weeks away due to the coronavirus situation.

Biles said that the milestone of one year to the Opening Ceremony in Tokyo on 23 July 2021 was "exciting".

"We're kind of playing around with some stuff (in the gym), now we're back to one year out and kind of restarting the process. It's exciting to have something to look forward to.

That "playing around" has produced new skills, including a triple-double dismount off the balance beam that had the Internet in awe.

"In my mind, I'm just like the 'Gymternet' will see this and that's as far as it will go, but then it makes the news and whoa, that's crazy," Biles laughed. "For the triple double one day we were just playing around and I was doing double doubles and they were really good that day.

"Cecile was like, what about a triple double? And that day I felt, I actually think I can do it today. So I was like, okay let's get the camera out and film it.

"Some other upgrades, right now you have to think risk versus reward, a lot of it isn't even risky and the reward is like, okay, one tenth, two tenths, that's pretty good.

"Gymnastics is hard, especially to make those upgrades."

However, asked by Japanese star Uchimura Kohei if she would debut a new skill that has never been done before at next year's Games, Biles appeared unsure.

"Right now, I feel like the answer is no. But then again, in the gym we're playing around… I'm not sure, we'll see."

#StrongerTogether and supporting each other

Biles stressed the importance of the support from her coaching team, family, teammates, and friends, and for people around the world to keep supporting each other during the ongoing coronavirus situation.

"Obviously there were times where I was like, I don't know if I can do this. It's a major setback for everybody, it's not just me, so that's what kept my spirits and hopes up. That made it easier.

"I know I have a great team surrounding me so with all of that I know we'll be solid.

"Don't give up, we're all in this together, literally the entire world is in this together so you're not alone."

Simone Biles on the uneven bars in the women's team final at the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships