Simone Biles has already taken to leading by example ahead of the 2021 Olympic Games in a sweet moment between herself and younger gymnast Zoe Miller, which was shared by the NBC Olympics official Twitter page.
In the clip, the 24-year-old gymnastics sensation is seen helping 16-year-old Miller look her best at the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships by tying a silver ribbon in her hair, a simple gesture that connected with audiences in a meaningful way. The competition concluded Sunday, June 6, and saw Biles walk away with her seventh U.S. title and record as the most decorated individual in the history of gymnastics.
Biles and Miller also make up two of the six Black gymnasts, and 18 total, competing for one of the four slots available on Team USA. Joining the pair in the competition are Jordan Chiles, Amari Drayton, Shilese Jones, and Skye Blakely.
“It’s meant the world, especially having the younger ones to kind of guide through the way,” Biles told NBC of her role model status. “I’ve been here for so long, so to be a mentor for them has meant everything to me, and to share these accomplishments and these goals.”
Watching the top athlete help straighten another queen’s crown (or tie up her Afro puff) warmed fans’ hearts, and they commended her in the comments for being a kind leader and strong role model.
“Simone taking care of the baby goat, she knows she didn’t receive the same treatment, but she’s the game changer for the next Gen. That’s Simone Biles greatness, another perfect 10 in life’s lessons.”
“She’s the GOAT and yet she takes the time to do this. That’s what sets her apart. Other athletes of her caliber sit off to the side in their own little world with headphones on and that’s a valid choice BUT I love seeing this humanity and humility with a teammate.”
“This moment speaks volumes AND everything you need to know about character and leadership.”
Keeping her teammate’s hair intact may also be a way of protecting her from harsh online criticism such as the one Biles faced in December 2017. The olympian joined the Houston Texans cheerleading quad as an honorary member, but prior to her debut, a photo from their practice showed her hair sweated out and it received an unfavorable response. The petite star responded on Twitter saying, “I have 1 question to everyone commenting about my hair when I genuinely look happy in the photo.. Do you look perfect ALL the time? 🤭 everything in perfect order.?”
Biles and Miller at Trials earn guaranteed spots on Team U.S.A and because Biles hasn’t lost a competition since 2013, she’s expected to be a shoo-in for one of them.