News

Gymnast Simone Biles on getting nervous before routines and what'd she'd be doing if she wasn't a gymnast

If you're not already familiar with Simone Biles, you will be soon.

The 19-year-old has been dominating the gymnastics world, shattering records as the first woman to win the all-around title at the world championships three times in a row and capturing more world gold medals than any other female gymnast.

LUCY NICHOLSON / Reuters
Gymnast Simone Biles has her sights set on Rio.

Her next goal? The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. TODAY caught up with Biles at the Kellogg's #GetMeStarted event in New York City on Thursday. Here's what she had to say.

You already have so many accolades and gold medals, but what would a win in Rio mean to you?

It would mean the world, because I've worked so hard the past couple of years to be where I am. The Olympics... that's a really special moment that we have to cherish forever. It's a very exciting point in your life. There are no real words to describe it.

RELATED: US gymnast Simone Biles poised for stardom at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Do you ever get nervous before you perform?

I do get nervous, sometimes for smaller crowds — I don't know why. But I'm pretty good at controlling it.

AP Images
Biles at a balance beam demonstration in New York City on Thursday.

Do you have any pre-performance rituals or superstitions?

No, I think that can play with my head. And I've just never picked any up along the way.

RELATED: Rio 2016 Olympic hopefuls tell us why they are 'strong'

Let's talk about your mom. I see you shout out to her a lot in interviews and on social media. You're pretty close, right?

She's one of the strongest people I know. She's always there to help me. She travels with me, and my dad stays at home with my sister. I love her to death and I wouldn't be here without her.

Do you have any special plans for Mother's Day?

We usually have a crawfish boil. Me and my brothers are going to pitch in on a little Mother's Day gift, too. But I don't know when this is going to run, so I can't tell you what it is yet!

RELATED: Simone Biles on the bee incident: 'I just freaked out!'

Closed Captioning
apply | reset x
font
size
T
T
T
T
color

Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles on their roads to Rio and personal growth

Play Video - 1:25

Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles on their roads to Rio and personal growth

Play Video - 1:25
We apologize, this video has expired.

More video

Fair enough. I heard she keeps all your medals in safe.

That's true. There's a password and I have no idea what it is. She locks it up, and I have no idea why she does that.

Is it out in the open, like on a fireplace mantel, or does she keep it hidden?

Well, if I tell you, it won't be safe anymore!

we're too alike we could be laughing at ANYTHING caption this #NikeWomen

A post shared by Simone Biles (@simonebiles) on

OK, let's talk about another inspiring woman in your life, and a fellow gymnast: Gabby Douglas. On the road to Rio, do you consider each other competition?

Everyone has a little bit of friendly competition, but in and out of the gym, we're friends. We talk. I think it's a great relationship we have and something we'll both cherish forever. It's really exciting to have teammates so close.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In school, I hope. Or maybe I would already be graduating at this point. Maybe have a boyfriend. And living life and having fun.

LUCY NICHOLSON / Reuters
At 19, Biles is considered by many to be the best female gymnast in the world.

If you weren't a gymnast, what would you be?

I would probably try dance or hip-hop. Or I would want to try track, but apparently track runners are tall, so...

Hip-hop as in rapping?

No, no! Hip-hop dance.

You're probably used to being interviewed by now, but if you could interview someone, who would it be?

Either Zac Efron or Zendaya.

Solid choices. OK, last question: what three things would you take to a deserted island?

A friend or a family member — I haven't decided which one. A phone. And a water filter.

TOP