“Sobbing”: Simone Biles’ Childhood Gymnastics Best Friend Emotional After Olympics Ad With Powerade

Published 04/13/2024, 9:00 AM EDT

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via Reuters

Noise, criticism, and opinions from all directions. A lot of athletes face this when they are at the top of their careers. Now everyone wants to see Simone Biles at the Olympics. But do you remember how she pulled out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics? Biles wasn’t okay. She was struggling with her mental health. Add media attention and intense judgment to this- all you get is a high-pressure environment. However, the gymnast stayed true to herself and had full confidence in her decision. Now, as the 2024 Paris Olympics inches closer, she appeared in an emotional advertisement that looks back at all her struggles as well as the happiest moments of her life!

The ad by POWERADE even brought tears to her childhood best friend’s eyes. The video depicted Biles running towards the vault amid intense media scrutiny post-Tokyo withdrawal. Her face was tense. With a reflective voiceover, she shared her journey, intertwined with flashes from her life- from enjoying pizza to cherished memories with her parents, and scenes like cutting her wedding cake with husband Jonathan Owens.

Reflecting on her journey, she said, “It’s okay to say, I need help. For years, I was celebrated for my wins. And now it’s like for being human. For being vulnerable. … I had to re-learn to trust myself.”


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The visual also includes heartwarming moments with her fur babies, Rambo and Lilo, and shared meals with childhood friends, among others. As the video narrated her growth from childhood to adulthood, Simone affirmed, “I still have to dig deep down and remember why I’m doing it. I’m doing it for the little girl.”

In the comment section of the posts, countless fans and friends shared how deeply the video resonated with them. Among them was Simone Biles’s childhood best friend Rachel Roettger, who wrote, “WHY AM I SOBBING.” Rachel has remained a steadfast source of support and encouragement for Simone since their days at Bannon’s Gymnastics at age six. Their enduring connection, symbolized by Rachel’s role as Simone’s bridesmaid, has stood the test of time.

Even Jordan Chiles’ mother expressed her admiration, saying, “Not gonna lie…this was absolutely 🔥.” Reflecting on the ad, it becomes clear that Simone Biles’ return to the 2024 Olympics marks a profound full-circle moment from the challenges of Tokyo, leaving fans eagerly anticipating her path to Paris this year.

The advertisement concluded with a touching moment at WCC, where her coaches, Cecile and Laurent Landi, lift her from a foam pit. Simone returns to practice her vault again, symbolically skipping over a Powerade bottle, while a young girl at her gym looks at her in admiration. However, why was Simone Biles the best choice for this advertisement?

Simone Biles’ campaign with POWERADE is more than just an advertisement!


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Remember how Biles struggled with her mental health at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics? She received a lot of criticism for pulling out back then. But Biles knew she made the right decision. Well, POWERADE’s campaign is focused on supporting an athlete’s mental and physical health. With their motto “Pause is Power”, the campaign signifies that athletes should pause when needed, just like the famous gymnast. And hence, Biles was the best choice for this.

Reactions such as “Haven’t seen a commercial that powerful and emotional in a while. So much chills!”, “Great now I’m absolutely sobbing my eyes out on a Friday afternoon”, “Love love love the humanity of this! Thank you for being human and not a machine” and “Simone Biles accomplishments go way beyond gymnastics. What an inspiration,” show how her fans adored the commercial.

Powerade’s parent company Coca-Cola’s, President, (Global Category) Matrona Filippou, said, “Powerade has always been committed to empowering athletes and we are thrilled to be partnering once again with Simone Biles, someone who has been transparent about how taking a pause is not an act of weakness, but rather an act of courage and power.”


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“We’re excited to bring this mindset to the Olympic Games and continue supporting athletes in the pursuit of balancing mental and physical fitness.” But this campaign is not new. It’s been there since 2022 with the aim to challenge the notion of ‘win at all costs’.

The company has also teamed up with other athletes like CJ Bott, Harrie Lavreysen, Lydia Williams, and Paralympic Alberto Abarza, to name a few. Also, this revolutionizing campaign has come after close to 100 years of Coca-Cola’s partnership with the Olympics. They have been associated since 1928.


Written by:

Christaline Meyers


One take at a time

Christaline Meyers is a senior Olympics writer at EssentiallySports who specializes in gymnastics and alpine skiing. Christaline is one of the acclaimed authorities in the coverage of 6x All-Around champion, Simone Biles. She has written extensively, covering every detail of Biles’s life stories as well as providing her perspective on Simone Biles’ Yurchenko Double Pike controversy.
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Edited by:

Sampurna Pal