Simone Biles’ thoughts on Katelyn Ohashi

Simone Biles is the most decorated American gymnast of all time with seven Olympic medals. She is on par with Shannon Miller. Last year, Biles shocked many by announcing her withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics, citing mental health problems. Aged only 25, fans of the athletes are eagerly waiting for a strong comeback.

Despite being inactive for a year, Simone Biles is still considered the world’s best gymnast currently. However, not many know that Biles herself has admitted to being ‘intimidated’ by an active competitor.

Gymnastics is a competitive sport and it’s no secret. The results in the sport are decided by fine margins and thus, it is one of the most pressurizing competitions.

While Simone Biles is called the GOAT by many, the seven-time Olympic medalist once had a strong competitor for herself at the national level. Back in 2013, Biles came head-to-head with compatriot Katelyn Ohashi and the Olympic champion was ‘intimidated’.

Ohashi, who was considered one of the most impressive gymnasts in the world at the time, scared the Olympic medalist with her skills.

Simone Biles’ thoughts on Katelyn Ohashi

Katelyn Ohashi started off her career at the junior level in 2009. She quickly rose to glory, becoming a junior national champion in 2011.

She was considered the next big thing in gymnastics by many. However, an injury-riddled career brought her fans’ hopes down. At her prime, Ohashi was a serious competition for the best in the world, Biles admitted during an interview.

Speaking about Ohashi, Simone Biles once revealed that she “looked up to her” in her prime. The four-time Olympic gold medal winner said that she was terrified to go up against Ohashi in 2013.

A young Biles was still coming up in the world of gymnastics when she first competed with Ohashi. Biles described her emotions when going up against her fancied competitor.

“Competing with all the girls I looked up to, even some of the juniors like Lexi and Katelyn, it actually made me really nervous. I was like so scared even when we were at the chalk bucket and Katelyn was standing next to me because she was in my group and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t even talk to her’. Then she said something to me and I was like ‘Me?'”

Notably, Ohashi once even defeated Simone Biles in the Balance Beam competition during the 2013 AT&T American Cup. Ohashi won the top medal as Biles suffered a slip-up.

The defeat is one of the big reasons why Biles sees Ohashi as a top competitor. The Olympic medal winner has even praised Ohashi’s character in the past.

“They just really intimidated me but it was really good to have them like, along my side because they always motivated me to do better and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t mess up in front of them’, so I guess it motivated me to do my best out there. So, it’s just really exciting and just so fun to be able to work with them.”

Katelyn Ohashi’s early retirement

Unfortunately, Katelyn Ohashi announced her retirement in 2019 at the age of 22. She constantly suffered shoulder and back problems that eventually led to the end of her professional career.

It is pertinent to note that Ohashi also suffered body-image problems. She was often on the receiving end of body-shaming insults, which also led to her receiving mental health counseling at a very young age.

Edited by Akshay Saraswat


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