The worst meet of Simone Biles‘ senior career ended with a stinging criticism from an opposing coach.
At the 2013 Secret Classic, Biles fell on uneven bars and floor exercise, barely stayed on the balance beam and was pulled from the meet by her coach, Aimee Boorman, before she could risk attempting a vault in her condition.
That’s when Biles said she heard another coach talking about her.
“You know why you crashed?” the unnamed coach said, according to Biles’ autobiography, “Courage to Soar,” which came out Wednesday. “Because she’s too fat, that’s why. How does she expect to compete like that? Maybe if she didn’t look like she’d swallowed a deer, she wouldn’t have fallen.”
Biles reflected on that scene on TODAY on Wednesday.
“I walked to the back behind the curtains, and I was crying,” Biles said.
Biles knew that her weight was the same as it was at previous meets in Italy and Germany that year. Boorman stressed to Biles that she wasn’t fat, but she didn’t prepare properly for the meet.
U.S. national team coordinator Martha Karolyi then gave Biles a pep talk. Karolyi “shook her head disapprovingly” at Biles, but certainly not because of her weight. Like Boorman, Karolyi was disappointed in Biles’ preparation.
“See, you can’t train like this and expect the results to show,” Biles said Karolyi told her. “You have to train harder and stuff. So I went back to the gym, and I did as told. So her pep talk gave me a little bit of an up rather than a down. … It felt good to hear her, because I was terrified she was going to be upset with me.”
Biles has not lost a single all-around competition since that meet three years ago.
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