Sports of The Times: Atop the Gymnastics World, Simone Biles Can’t Suppress Her Grin

“She’s definitely on top of my list,” Karolyi said when asked where she would rank Biles on the list of top gymnasts in history. “She’s a great combination of physical abilities and strong mind. Oh, that’s what we want. That’s a package!”

Her husband, Bela Karolyi, the legendary gymnastics coach, got to the heart of why Biles is often smiling and joking when other gymnasts look stoic or pained. He, too, said that Biles was phenomenal and that he had “never seen anyone like her.”

“She can afford to enjoy it; she’s injury-free, she’s doing so easily what other people are struggling to do,” Bela Karolyi said. “Of course, she could be happy. Son of a gun, I’d love to be that way, too!”

He added that it was “almost a certainty” that Biles would win the gold medal in the all-around in Rio. Based on her performance at nationals and most performances of the last, let’s estimate, 1,068 days, at least, that appears to be true.


At nationals, Biles, 19, beat second-place Aly Raisman, a 2012 Olympian and two-time Olympic gold medalist, by nearly 4 points. Lauren Hernandez finished in third place.

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