“Power Gymnast Could Not Also Be Artistic…”: Simone Biles Slammed Misconception About Gymnasts After Facing Derogatory Comments During 2013 Match

Published 08/28/2022, 10:30 AM EDT
Simone Biles is a name that barely needs an introduction. Born to parents who were unable to care for her and her three siblings, she was given away to her current parents. Biles’ love for gymnastics started at the age of 6 and so did her hunger to win. All in all, this Olympian is fearless, speaking out for her rights and demands. 

Biles hasn’t always had a smooth ride in her journey in gymnastics. Apart from constant criticism and the naysayers she also had to deal with crumbling mental health and losses on the mat. But, perhaps any of those were as troubling for her as her first brush with racist comments. Biles had to deal with the humiliation of being dished out racial slurs at the age of 16. And that too, after being a champion.

Simone Biles was a target of racial dialogue

The year was 2013 and 16-year-old Simone had just been crowned a winner of the World Gymnastic Championships. But her moment of the win was cut short by an unforeseen occurrence. While Simone became the first black woman to bag the all-around badge,  Italian gymnast Carlotta Ferlito was placed at 11th. Ferlito, unable to take her loss, blasted a deeply racist statement against Biles. This was deeply hurtful for obvious reasons and the Olympian later wrote about it in her autobiography. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 25: Simone Biles of Team United States looks on during Women’s Qualification on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Simone said in the book, “I could easily forgive what Carlotta said but the Italian Gymnastics Federation spokesperson’s statement did bother me a bit. It implied that a power gymnast could not also be artistic and graceful, and also that power and grace were somehow tied to a person’s race. I absolutely didn’t agree.” 

READ THIS: “Other Than That, There’s So Much”: Simone Biles Once Revealed Where Does Paris Olympics Stand in Her Future Priorities Order

Biles was taken aback by another gymnast’s comments about race and strength. And she wanted to show the world, that no matter what your ethnicity is, it “shouldn’t have anything to do with the color of your skin”.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Simone’s win streak remains uninterrupted

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

It is simply worth mentioning how despite multiple setbacks, this gymnast is not ready to back down yet. She glides effortlessly, both on the mat and in life. Her win streak is never ending in both personal and professional life and that’s what makes her the GOAT. That’s why she remains the hero for many. 

WATCH THIS STORY: Gymnastics GOAT Simone Biles Reveals Unknown Facts About Her Relationship With Bestfriend Rachel.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Shreyosi Banerjee

136 articles

Shreyosi Banerjee is a US Sports author working with EssentiallySports. She is currently pursuing her graduation in English honors. Shreyosi holds prior work experience in content creation, having worked as a content writer, freelancing for companies like Webgross.

Edited By: Rupak Kumar Jha

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK