“She’s perfectly human. And that’s what makes it so easy to call her a hero,” Swift said in a new video broadcast as part of Biles’ return to the games.
NBC and Taylor Swift came together to share a powerful video as part of their coverage for Simone Biles’ highly-anticipated return to the Olympics, and the moment led to a sweet Twitter exchange between the singer and the gymnast.
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After stepping away from the Games due to a case of the “twisties,” prioritizing her mental health over the competition, all eyes were on Biles this week to see if she would step back onto the mat for any of the individual competitions (she’d qualified on all four apparatuses).
Ultimately, Biles would only return for the final one, choosing to close out her 2021 Tokyo Olympics experience with one last shot at a medal on the balance beam. The world’s greatest gymnast perhaps wasn’t as perfect as she usually is, settling for bronze, but she nevertheless took on the Games on her own terms.
The new clip that aired on NBC ahead of Biles’ big comeback moment was set to the soundtrack of Swift’s 2020 track, “This Is Me Trying.” In it, she showed footage of Biles talking about stepping away from the competition to focus on her mental health, a choice criticized by some.
“When you have the attention of the world, everything you do takes on a bigger meaning. It can be a heavy burden,” Swift spoke in the video. “It can be a chance to change everything.”
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Speaking of Biles, Swift added, “Throughout the last week, her voice has been as significant as her talents, her honesty as beautiful as the perfection that had long been her signature. But don’t you see? It still is.”
“She’s perfectly human. And that’s what makes it so easy to call her a hero. Simone Biles. Back on the beam. In Tokyo.”
It was a powerful statement and a beautiful sentiment of support for the choices Biles has made about her own body, her own legacy and even the power of women to stand for themselves regardless of the pressures put on them.
Biles did not appear aware of the video before her routine, commenting on it afterward. Sharing the clip, she commented, “I’m crying. how special. I love you @taylorswift13.”
It didn’t take long for Swift to reply back, telling Biles, “I’m crying over YOU.”
“I feel so lucky to have gotten to watch you all these years, but this week was a lesson in emotional intelligence and resilience,” Swift continued. “We all learned from you. Thank you.”
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With a career already in the legendary status, Biles’ bronze gives her a seventh Olympic medal overall. She has four gymnastics moves named after her and the most World and World gold medals ever in the history of the sport. All of this at only 24 years old.
With the delayed Olympics due to COVID-19, there are only three more years until the next Summer Games. It’s too early to say if Biles — who will be 27 years old then — has any interest in returning.
If she doesn’t, she still ends her Olympic career with one final medal, an inspirational message about the importance of following your own lead … and maybe a new friend. Plus, that incredible legacy of greatness on and off the mat.
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