Simone Biles, 18-year-old from Spring, Texas, won a third national gymnastics championship Saturday night to a medals collection that also includes the last two world all-around titles, under a banner marked “Countdown to Rio!”
Even though she’s a fan favorite, her coaches don’t want her to become distracted with the attention.
“We never want this to happen to Simone,” said national team coordinator Martha Karolyi, who said the trick for Biles now was to avoid getting distracted “by being named Superman, or whatever.”
Biles, for her part, seems happy to show Karolyi she’s mastering that too. Going into the national championships, she still said that as far as Rio goes, her eyes were just on “making the team.” In 2013, the first year she became a senior, she had said she’d hoped to make the world team but didn’t expect to win the all-around title there. Nor did she think she would be able to repeat that fluke a year later, until she did it.
Biles doesn’t pay much attention to the media surrounding her, and her coach just wants to keep her injury free.
“She doesn’t really see herself as being amazing,” said her personal coach, Aimee Boorman. “My biggest thing is that it falls on my shoulders to keep her safe,” meaning injury-free, she said.
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