PITTSBURGH — When Gabby Douglas returned to a U.S. National Team training camp in June for the first time since before the London Olympics, she had a roommate selected, at random they say, at the Karolyi ranch in Texas.
That roommate was Simone Biles.
Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around champion, and Biles, the 2013 World all-around champion, bonded over five days. They stayed up late and laughed so loudly over things like pizza that the other gymnasts banged on the walls.
“Be quiet guys,” they yelled. “We’re trying to sleep.”
Douglas is seeing Biles again this week, attending the P&G Championships as a spectator. Biles took a whopping 3.15-point all-around lead after the first day of competition Thursday and will look to wrap up her second straight title Saturday.
Much has changed in women’s gymnastics since the Olympics. Biles is unquestionably the best in the world, a title Douglas held when it mattered most and would like to regain in Rio de Janeiro.
Douglas, who said she first met Biles at the 2013 American Cup, watched the World Championships last fall from afar. What impressed her the most?
“I would have to say Simone,” Douglas said (How could she not? Biles won four medals.). “I love watching her floor [exercise routine]. Her double layout half is just beautiful.”
Biles likens Douglas to an older sister. When they were roommates, Biles asked Douglas for advice on choosing her college. Biles announced she picked UCLA over Alabama two months later.
That friendship will stay intact when Douglas returns, even if they are vying for the same prestigious titles, Biles said.
“I don’t think we’re competing against each other,” she said.
NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra will have coverage of the P&G Championships on Saturday (8-11 p.m. ET) and Sunday (2:30-4).