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“Didn’t Think I Belonged There”- Simone Biles Makes a Shocking Reveal on Her Imposter Syndrome Issues

Published 04/28/2022, 8:30 AM EDT

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More often than not, fans think athletes are not human. They have this opinion that they are not allowed to make mistakes. Breaking down under pressure is not even in the picture. However, most World Champions or Olympic Gold Medalists are prone to pressure. The very same happened with champion gymnast Simone Biles.

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But it was not the Tokyo Olympics that was the only time she had a breakdown. For years, Biles was dealing with severe stress and performing under pressure. All of this combined caused her to break down during the Olympics 2020. She recently revealed that in 2013, after the World Gymnastics Championships, she felt something similar.


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Simone Biles recalls how difficult the 2013 World Championships was for her

In 2013, Simone qualified for her first-ever World Artistic Gymnastic Championships. She came into the competition and displayed skills that marked her as the future of gymnastics. With the highest score, she was named the all-around champion. At the end of the championship, the athlete had four medals.

It was big for her as this was her first-ever World Championships. However, things were not so happy from Biles’ perspective. She has opened up about the aftermath of winning multiple medals at the event.


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“I definitely didn’t think I belonged there because I was with world champions,” revealed Biles. She was not very well known then and had feelings of imposter syndrome among the world’s best gymnasts. However, Biles’ coach pushed her to go out there and leave a mark.

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“Our coordinator was like, ‘You know what? If you don’t have a name for yourself, go out there and make a name for yourself. Who cares what happens? You’re basically a nobody.'”

Notably, the Tokyo Olympic all-around champion Suni Lee also suffered from imposter syndrome right after her historic win. Lee has herself talked about how hard it was to overcome the feeling that she did not deserve the medal.

A young Simone at the 2013 World Championships


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At the World Championships, Simone Biles qualified for all the event finals. This was the first for a US gymnast since 1991. She competed equally with the world champions and then Olympic medalists.

“I’m out here competing with all of these girls that have been previous world champions…so I just thought it was really cool that I finally got to be in their shoes and be a part of that,” she said.

via Getty

She would go on to become the most decorated gymnast in the world with a total of 32 medals and a 5-time World Champion. That was just the beginning of Biles’ phenomenal career which would make her the GOAT of gymnastics.


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Written by:

Richa Goswami


One take at a time

Richa Goswami is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. As an adherent learner, she uses her journalistic persona to navigate through new skills. Richa has completed her schooling at Don Bosco.
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Edited by:

Simar Singh Wadhwa