HOUSTON – Simone Biles has her sights set on the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The four-time Olympic gold medalist will continue working towards that goal by competing at the GK U.S. Classic in Louisville this weekend.
Just as noteworthy is the fact that she will be leading a large contingent of gymnasts from her family’s home gym, the World Champions Centre, where they train.
Including Biles, nine gymnasts will be competing in Louisville.
“I think it’s pretty cool. I’ve never really had teammates (from here). This year we have a lot,” Biles said following the group workout on Wednesday. “We have a whole entire crew, so I’m pretty excited. We all get to share the experience together.”
Biles, the role model
“They’re better than I was at their ages. I didn’t start elite until I was 13 or 14 years old. I’m really proud of them. I just come in and try to do my work, try not to get kicked out of practice. It’s different, but it’s exciting. I’m here to be a role model and I do some of the things that they do. Despite age, I’m here to show them that it doesn’t matter how old you get, it’s about how smart you are,” Biles said.
Preparing physically for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
“I feel it’s adding the upgrades at the right time when you are physically ready, so that you don’t do anything too dangerous, but it’s also about pacing yourself because you don’t want to put everything in too early. So it is about pacing yourself,” Biles said.
The difference in Biles since the 2016 Olympics
“It feels different, but I feel like every day I’m trying to turn the page and get one step closer to that Olympic goal. I feel like I’ve grown as a person a lot. But then again, I feel like your first Olympic cycle, you don’t really know what to expect, so you just go in 100% all the time and now we have a better gauge on how to pace myself gearing up for the next Olympics. Now I count down the days more than I did before,” Biles said.
At 22, does Biles feel old?
“It is weird, because some of these girls are 10, 11 years old and I’m thinking, 'I’m 10 years older than you.' Sometimes it’s a little bit hard because I’m a little bit older than them, but I think they keep the youth in me. But then, on my hard days, I forget that I’m so much older than them," Biles said.