Leslie Jones Meets Olympians Simone Biles and Aly Raisman in Rio

Cheryl Sanders
August 13, 2016

Its official, Simone Biles is the best female gymnast in the world right now. Her glitter makeup and the sequined stars and stripes on her red, white and blue leotard sparkled under the bright lights. She was ready to have fun.

Her win on Thursday was the most dominant in global gymnastics in the open scoring era (since 2006).

So much for the pressure getting to Simone Biles.

The gold medal was hers at that point, as if there was any doubt.

But Biles never let herself fall back to the pack, she just keeps improving. Rounding out the swimming finals is three-time Olympic medalist Maya DiRado in the 200-meter backstroke at 9:03pm EST. Once again, it was Biles by miles in a sport scored to thousandths of a point.

Aly Raisman won the Olympic silver medal in the women's gymnastics all-around in Rio de Janeiro.

The gold medal hanging around her neck says it all.

Children wore Team Simone t-shirts and waved "We Love You Simone" signs, as they sat on the mats at World Championship Centre and watched the competition on a giant projector screen. Everybody wiped tears, except Biles, composed as always - at least on the outside. Yes, she's that special. But I feel the same. "When you have fun that's when you're most successful".


"I would say yes", Martha Karolyi said when asked if Biles was the greatest ever. Simone is said to be the greatest gymnast ever, and is the most capable one anyone has ever seen.

The Jewish competitor from Needham, Massachusetts, finished second behind her American teammate Simone Biles on Thursday.

"Nadia was very precise", Karolyi said.

Fiji, which has a population of just 900,000, regularly holds its own against much larger countries in worldwide rugby. With Nadia we wanted to come close to perfection.

Biles' talent is unmistakable, but it took time to harness.

She led after the first event, the vault.

Still, those expectations are as tall as they are weighty, especially for a 19-year-old who stands just 4-foot-8.

It was fitting she ended on floor, where she soars so high she looks as if she could touch the sky.


Douglas said her teammates "did an incredible job". "She could do big skills up here but couldn't land". Her hands were so small she couldn't hold onto the bar. She's trained putting another twist on that one too. "We just go wherever they tell us to".

And she might well clean up a further three medals It doesnt stop there, you see. "She's got springs in her calves". The gymnastics club sent a letter home with her, requesting that she joined tumbling or gymnastics. Maybe one day Biles will make them reconsider.

Biles, though, wasn't the only American gymnast fulfilling an Olympic dream on Thursday.

Instead, she put on a show befitting a champion for the ages.

Ortiz wasn't the only athlete to congratulate Raisman or Biles, however. "Our coaches tell us not to worry about beating Simone".

The country has been competing in the Olympics for nearly 60 years, but today was a historic day for the small island nation: It won its first medal in the Olympics in rugby sevens - and it was gold, no less. Though her tricks are so hard they defy the laws of both gravity and physics, she did them with the effort and lightness of the little girl who once delighted in doing back handsprings for a home video. However, there was a tiebreaker rule that did not allow for duplicate medals to be handed out and Raisman lost the tiebreaker to Aliya Mustafina.

Cheers erupted from the crowd anytime Biles and her teammate Aly Raisman performed.

"I would put Simone now on top", she added.


Murphy won gold in the 200-meter backstroke Thursday night to go with his gold in the 100-meter backstroke on Monday.

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