With unreal star power that still hasn’t peaked, the Olympic Games need Simone Biles more than she needs them.
Simone Biles set yet another world record Sunday. The superstar won the national women’s all-around title at the US Gymnastics Championships.
For the seventh time.
It was another dominant performance for the four-time Olympic gold medalist, who’s already on her way to becoming the most successful and decorated gymnast in history.
Biles’ 119.650 overall score on Sunday in Fort Worth, Texas was a massive 4.7 points ahead of second-place Sunisa Lee. Her five gold medals at the 2019 world championships in Germany gave her 25 career medals in that competition, breaking the all-time record at age 22.
Right on cue, Biles is expected to be one of the most marketable and bankable athletes at the summer’s COVID-delayed Olympic Games in Tokyo. Gymnastics is fully expected to be one of the most-watched events yet again this summer, and no one drives the ratings like the 24-year-old American has over the last five years.
In fact, that special status combined with her reach, personal brand power, and how significantly better she is than every other gymnast on planet earth are only some of the reasons why Biles has become bigger than the Olympics themselves.
Not surprisingly, Biles keeps racking up lucrative business relationships and endorsements. She turned heads in April when she left Nike to build her own legacy as the face of Gap-owned sportswear brand Athleta. You’ve surely seen her in Uber Eats commercials with Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness, and she has other ongoing deals with brands like Beats by Dre, Visa, and Caboodles.
A recent list of the world’s most marketable athletes put out by SportsPro and powered by Nielsen’s athlete marketability assessment methodology ranked Biles 14th overall and second among all women.
Among the many reasons why Biles has grown so popular and larger-than-life is her breathtaking, unfathomably unprecedented degree of difficulty in the routines she attempts. At the US Classic in Indianapolis two weeks ago, she executed a move so bold and dangerous that no other competitor had even attempted it before — the Yurchenko double pike, which is traditionally only attempted by men.
It was her first competition in roughly 18 months.
Biles is so many lightyears ahead of other female gymnasts that it seems like she tries routines so daunting that she’s really just competing against herself. In so many ways, she’s playing a different sport entirely. She’s in a category all by herself. All told, her GOAT-level accomplishments in gymnastics at such a young age and her unique status as a household stands to transcend the Olympics.
At just 24, with athletes from across the sports world now extending their careers beyond what was previously possible due to modern medicine and advanced training, recovery, and wellness practices, Biles still figures to have many years to enhance her legacy and massive earning potential even further.
At this point, it’s fair and safe to say that the Olympic Games need Simone Biles much more than she needs them.