How Simone Biles helped Jordan Chiles secure an Olympics berth at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Chiles had contemplated quitting gymnastics, but unwavering support from Simone Biles helped her realize her Olympic dream
The value of friends is paramount in life. Apart from cherishing our precious moments with us, there are occasions when friends redefine the purpose of our existence, helping rejuvenate our inner self to achieve the best of our capabilities. In sports, especially, such friends take the shape of comrades, guiding their fellow athletes through the constant crusades of their lives.
Be it the duo of Yogeshwer Dutt and Bajrang Punia in wrestling, or Abhishek Nair and Rohit Sharma in cricket, these comrades have played indispensable roles in the journeys of the athletes to the pinnacle of their sport. Such is the case of Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and Jordan Chiles, with the former being a rock in the script of the 20-year old gymnast.
20-year old gymnast Jordan Chiles had lived the dream of being an Olympian ever since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and had commenced her training even before it. She improved leaps and bounds in the four years between the two quadrennial events, turning elite at the age of 11.
Fast forward to the next Olympic Games, Chiles saw herself vying for a spot in the U.S. roster, but was termed as a bit young to compete at the event. She broke down, as the wait for another four years seemed perennial.
However, more than the period of wait, it was the environment around Chiles that played a role to take her away from her dream, and almost succeeded, if it was not for Simone Biles. Chiles clinched second place at the National Championships in 2017, however, was not selected in the team to represent USA at the World Championships.
This took a big toll on her confidence, and she felt something was definitely not going right in her journey, as it did not culminate into big moments.
Chiles contemplated quitting the sport altogether and was about to take the decision when a chat with Biles steered her towards revival. Biles offered the 20-year old to come down to Texas, and train at her gym with her coaches.
Brushing shoulders with the Olympic gold medalist and constant inputs from her coaches played a vital role in her resurgence, giving Chiles a nurturing environment along with a fresh perspective on the bygone days. And the results were tangible on this occasion.
The athlete who was about to quit gymnastics became a force to reckon with, especially with her exploits in 2021; winning February's Winter Cup, bagging second place at the GK US Classic, and a third place in the Nationals. These results were not mere numbers, but a testimony to Chiles' stoic journey of resurgence.
Up next, the Olympic trials arrived, so did Jordan Chiles. A dream long cherished since childhood finally gathered shape, as the 20-year old qualified for the four-member team to represent the USA in Tokyo, along with her guardian angel Simone Biles.