4x World Champion Reflects on Simone Biles’ Extensive Achievements, Emphasizing the Diversity Within Team USA’s Elite Gymnastics Squad

Published 02/08/2024, 10:48 AM EST

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Have you ever wondered what balancing academics, Olympic goals, and gravity-defying flips is like? Meet University of Florida pre-med student Leanne Wong who continues to exceed expectations. She’s thriving in her courses as a Gator, skillfully navigating collegiate and elite gymnastics, and growing her bow business. Now, the Kansas-born athlete has her sights on the 2024 Paris Olympics after missing out on the Tokyo Games.

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This year added a hint of diversity in professional gymnastics to the American squad raising excitement among fans. But what does Wong think about the mixture of experience gymnasts bring to the table? In a recent interview, she speaks candidly about the most decorated gymnast Simone Biles.

Simone Biles receives a shoutout

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Leanne Wong recently shared her thoughts on how the world of professional gymnastics has changed with Joy Sauce. The host Samantha Pak brought up the practice of labeling gymnasts as “old” after they hit their late teens. Wong stated, “Why shouldn’t elite gymnastics be like college gymnastics? I definitely think the teams are getting a little bit older. It’s not just a bunch of young girls, but there is a mix.”

via Reuters

She explained using the gymnastics queen as an example, “Simone (Biles), she’s obviously had like 30 world medals and been to two Olympics. So I still feel like a young one because she’s so experienced. But it’s cool to learn from experienced gymnasts who have been to those big meets multiple times.”

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While praising others, one cannot forget Wong’s resilience during the Tokyo Olympics. Despite testing negative for COVID, she had to quarantine when her roommate tested positive. She spent ten days alone in a hotel room, a far cry from the Olympic experience she had imagined, as her comrades fulfilled their ambitions on the Olympic stage. However, last year saw back-to-back promising performances by the 20-year-old making her one of the strong contenders.

Leanne Wong—the versatile performer

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The 2023 World Gymnastics Championship was another proof of Wong’s adaptability on the mats. She performed admirably on the vault and floor despite being under pressure, while replacing injured Joscelyn Roberson.

Meanwhile, in the collegiate circuits: She is a 15-time All-American and a two-time SEC beam winner. Since making her debut in 2022, she has been an essential member of the Florida Gators roster, helping the team to consecutive NCAA team runner-up finishes.

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Leanne Wong is a perfect example of the diversity that makes Team USA stronger than ever. Along with the guidance and life lessons learned from both successes and setbacks of Simone Biles who developed into a powerful force leaving a lasting impression on the international gymnastics scene.

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Written by:

Divya Purohit

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One take at a time

Hi there! I am Divya Purohit, and I am a Olympics sports writer at EssentiallySports. As an avid sports junkie I delved in the world of sports journalism and started crafting content around my favorite athletes. By means of my distinct storytelling approach, I provide perceptive viewpoints on diverse sports stories.
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Edited by:

Suman Varandani

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