“Small for My Age”: Simone Biles Used to Lie About Her Height During Early Days of Gymnastics Career

Society bounds everyone with the quality of being flawless. This is true, especially in the case of athletes. The spectrum includes having a fit body and a perfect height. The judgmental comments posted by fans on these issues can lower anyone’s confidence. This was the case with the world-renowned gymnast Simone Biles. In her book, she talks about how she was worried about her height, without realizing the advantages that come with it.


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Simone started doing gymnastics when she was six. Unfortunately, she faced many issues in her childhood that can easily break a child’s confidence.

Simone Biles lying about her height


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Everyone wants a perfect height, due to the rigid expectations of our society. Like everyone else, Simone also wanted to have a normal height. Once, in her childhood, Simone used to lie about her age. She revealed this in her book ‘Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance.’

She describes how she used to hide her age; she said “At the time, I was fourteen and small for my age. A four-feet-eight-inch ball of nonstop energy, I liked to say I was four feet nine just so I could feel taller.”

But Simone also appreciated herself, saying, “But I was also strong. I’d been born with the kind of biceps and muscled calves that, back in third grade, had earned me the nickname swoldger-a cross between swollen and soldier.”

Simone used to think it was mean at first, but soon started to embrace her new nickname. She concluded, “Some girls might have been offended by that, and at first, I did think it was kind of mean. But after a while, I embraced it. I was like, Yeah, I’m stronger than half of the boys in my class, so don’t mess with me. It helped that I was starting to rack up some wins in gymnastics meets, where most of my teammates had muscles too.”


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Biles performed tremendously in the 2016 Olympics and earned five medals, of which four were gold, her height playing a crucial role in her dominance.

Benefits of Simone’s height in gymnastics


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Simone’s 4’8 height is perfect for gymnastics. She was the shortest athlete among 555 athletes who represented the US in the Rio Olympics. Gymnastics sports require a very short stature. The shorter the body of a gymnast, the easier it is to swing on the bar.

TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 25: (PICTURE ZEITUNG OUT) Simone Biles of USA smiles on day two during the qualification of the women in gymnastics at the Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Center on July 25, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Tom Weller/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Small height makes it many times easier to have a perfect rotation speed. After competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Simone gained confidence and loved her height.


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Watch The Story: Simone Biles Shares a Powerful Message for Young Girls in the Latest Athleta Commercial

Simone could have achieved many medals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But unfortunately, she withdrew from the prestigious tournament due to her deteriorating mental health. Nevertheless, she has inspired many athletes to embrace their natural abilities.

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