The unlimited greatness of Simone Biles

No one can dispute it, at this point: Biles is the greatest of all time.
/ Photograph by Karim Jaafar / AFP / Getty

By Louisa Thomas | The New Yorker

The goat was both a joke and a statement of fact. Last week, at podium training for the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, when the athletes have a chance to try out the equipment inside the arena before the competition begins, Simone Biles wore an iridescent gray sleeveless leotard with her name written in studded crystals on the back, and, below, also in crystals, the cartoonish head of a goat. On Twitter, Biles posted a picture of herself with the back of the leotard on display, one muscular leg extended, hair in a knot, and a smile on her face, in profile. In the photo, the goat appears to be giving the rest of us side-eye; the caption reads “podium training :).”

In July, Biles competed at a qualifying meet in a leotard that had her name on the back, and some gymnastics fans took offense—it is unusual, though not unprecedented, for gymnasts to wear leotards emblazoned with their names. (The men often have them in N.C.A.A. gymnastics, for example.) There was a backstory about Biles having her name on the leotard, though there didn’t need to be: she is using her name to make history. The goat, she said, was a lighthearted way to “jab back” at the “haters.” But, really, no one can dispute it, at this point: Biles is the greatest of all time.


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