Too young to compete in 2012, American gymnast favoured to win all-around gold
Simone Biles of USA looks to threaten countrywoman Gabreille Douglas for the all-around title in women’s artistic gymnastics. The stakes are that high in her first Olympic Games.
Biles, 19, was too young in 2012 to compete in the London Games, where Douglas won the all-round gold at the age of 16. Now Biles is the heir apparent of a US team expected to repeat as the winner of the team gold.
She has already proved herself. Biles’ dynamic power and soaring acrobatic skills earned her all-around gold ahead of Douglas at the 2015 world championships last autumn in Glasgow, Scotland. She also won the 2013 and 2014 world titles, when Douglas did not compete. Biles is expected to perform her signature floor move: a double layout with a half twist.
The ebullient resident of Spring, Texas, said she has no idea how she might handle the enormous celebrity status that would come with winning all-around gold in Rio de Janeiro.
“I never really think about it because it’s something you can’t expect. You don’t know what it’s going to be like until it happens, so I just kind of do everyday life,” she said Thursday after podium training at the Rio Olympic Arena.
The 2015 world championships bronze medallists Great Britain are likely to contend with Russia and China for a podium place. China won fourth in London in 2012 and silver at the 2015 world championships. Romania, the London bronze medallists, failed to qualify a team. Artistic gymnastics begin Sunday.