As Simone Biles wins medal after medal — she won her seventh national women’s-all around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships earlier this month — most sports fans are in agreement that the 24-year-old gymnast is the G.O.A.T: Greatest of All Time. So many of them were thrilled to see that she recently adorned her leotards with a little bedazzled goat, which she has nicknamed Goldie.
But speaking to Marie Claire this week, Biles explained that Goldie the Goat was less a boast and more a way to t*oll her ‘ha*e*s,’ whom she knew would get riled up when they saw it.
Biles debuted her bedazzled goat at the the 2021 GK U.S. Classic gymnastics competition at the Indiana Convention Center on May 22, flaunting the blinged-out animal on the back of her leotard.
She wore another on her shoulder at the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas on June 04, and another on her waist at the same competition two days later. ‘The idea was to h** back at the ha*ers,’ Biles explained.
‘I didn’t feel like it was necessarily fair how they could keep saying whatever they wanted, but then if I said something, it wasn’t fair. The haters were joking like, “I swear, if she put a goat on her leo, blah, blah, blah.” That would make them so an*ry.
‘And then I was like, “Oh, that’s actually a good idea. Let’s make the haters hate it, and the fans love it.” And so that’s exactly what we did and why we did it,’ she said.
The star also stressed the importance of people being proud of their accomplishments. ‘I just hope that kids growing up watching this don’t or aren’t ashamed of being good at whatever they do,’ she said.
‘And that’s my pro*lem: when people kind of harp on other people that are good at something. And it’s like, everybody can say you’re good, but once you acknowledge it, it’s not cool anymore. And I want kids to learn that, yes, it’s okay to acknowledge that you’re good or even great at something.’
In the interview, Biles also opened up about her mental health struggles, about which she has been quite candid recently.
‘People think we’re just athletes and entertainers, but we’re also humans and we go through our own i*s*es that you guys might not be able to see,’ she said.
‘I feel like most of the expectations that are on me are from myself,’ she added. ‘I’ve tried not to let anybody else’s expectations impact how I go into a meet or my mindset.
‘I still do the sport because I find joy and it’s what I love. I love to entertain, I love to compete, and I love to train. Although some days are ha*der than others, I’ve been doing it for so long, so I know exactly how I’m going to be going into the gym each and every day and all of that st-uff.
‘But I think what brings me joy is having such a great team that I’ve been surrounded with and they keep motivating me and pushing me to be a better gymnast.’
Biles covers Glamour this month in a white David Koma dress — with a cutout to show off her perfectly toned midsection — and red, white, and blue Tiffany Rose hair ties woven through an extra long braid.
Though she’s the picture of contentment on the cover, the star admitted to the magazine that like so many people, she went through a rough patch in the spring of 2020.
When her gym closed and the Olympics was canceled, she considered giving up the sport all together. But she got past it, and used some of her downtime to reorganize her priorities.
‘Before I would only focus on the gym,’ she said. ‘But me being happy outside the gym is just as important as me being happy and doing well in the gym. Now it’s like everything’s coming together.’
For Biles, happiness means self care, eating Mexican food, and spending time with her boyfriend, Houston Texans’ Jonathan Owens.
She also t*ied to pick up a hobby, but admits it wasn’t quite as successful as she’d hoped. ‘I feel like everybody was painting, or knitting, or doing something cool in quarantine, so I was like, “I’m going to learn how to do my makeup, my hair, and my nails,”‘ she said.
‘I almost ruined my nails, so that is no longer permitted. I’ve definitely gotten better at doing my hair, but clearly I’m not gifted in that department. I’m just really trying to find who I am.’
But perhaps most important was going to therapy. Biles admitted that it was difficult at first, and she would sit there in silence, insisting to herself that she didn’t need to be there because she wasn’t ‘c*azy.’
Once her therap-ist convinced her that therapy isn’t for ‘crazy’ people — and is just a great place to talk — she loosened up.
‘I thought I could figure it out on my own, but that’s sometimes not the case,’ she said. ‘And that’s not something you should feel guilty or as*am-ed of.
‘Once I got over that fact, I actually enjoyed it and looked forward to going to therapy. It’s a safe space.’ Biles also covers Health magazine this month, modeling a mix of athletic wear and designer pieces in the July/August i*s*e.
She also opened up to the magazine about mental health, speaking candidly about the precautions she takes to combat burnout and injury as she prepares for the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
‘I do regular athletic massages and ice massages. I also use compression boots and take Epsom-salt baths,’ she said, ‘And I see my athletic doctor every Friday for a check-in.’
Biles’s self-care extends past the physical, and she credits regular therapy with helping her cope with past trauma and the constant pressure of her sport.
‘For a while, I saw a psychologist once every two weeks,’ she said. ‘That helped me get in tune with myself so that I felt more comfortable and less anxious.’
Biles was one of more than 150 women who was sexually abused by dis*ra!ed former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nasser during his 30-year career.
After publicly sharing her story in 2018, she revealed that she was taking anti-anxiety medication and going to therapy.
Prioritizing her mental health was especially important for the athlete when she learned she would have to continue her grueling gymnastics training for another year after the 2020 Olympics were postponed due to the co*ona*irus pan*emi*.
‘It was a whirlwind of emotions — I couldn’t believe the news,’ she told Health. ‘I was sad. I was an*ry. I was annoyed. But I also knew it needed to happen to keep everyone safe and get the virus under control.’
In the trailer for her upcoming Facebook Watch docuseries, Biles expresses concern that she won’t be ‘just as good’ a year later, but she explained to the magazine that she is confident in her training and her a*ility.
‘I knew my coaches would make sure I was ready-no matter how long the postponement was,’ she said. ‘Of course, another year of training on your body really takes a toll. But I just knew I’d be ready.’
Biles trains at World Champions Centre, the gym founded by her parents, Ron and Nellie Biles, in Spring, Texas.
As a black gymnast in a sport that used to have little di*ersity, she spoke about the importance of her training at the family-owned gym.
‘Representation matters, and we want to inspire the next generation to pursue their passion,’ she said. ‘Kids can come in and we will be training in the back, and they can see we are just like them. It helps them understand they can do it too.’
Biles is the most decorated American gymnast ever, with 25 combined Olympic and World Championship medals, but that only makes her motivated to do more.
When asked what advice she’d give her younger self, she said she would tell herself ‘to not be so stu8born and to be a little bit happier — to know that it’s not over just because something happens in one day. You can keep pu*hi!g.’