Next for Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles: Role-modeling and cliff-jumping
Kelly Wallace, CNN | 8/20/2016, 11:06 a.m.
CNN: You said during these Games, you're not the next Michael Phelps or the next Usain Bolt. You are the first Simone Biles. Was that a spontaneous response, or had you been thinking of that?
Biles: No, it just happened at the spur of the moment.
CNN: What message were you trying to send with that statement?
Biles: Because you can't compare two people from different sports, and they have gone to the Olympics before, and they've done so much and I haven't, and I feel like I'm my own person. Why do you have to compare us to someone else?
CNN: You appear in this "Evolution of Power" video sponsored by Tide Pods. The message is how much gymnastics has changed from the days when Comaneci dazzled to how much more power women today are demonstrating. What's the message here?
Biles: I think, over the past couple of years, everything is changing and evolving, but you have to start somewhere, and [the gymnasts from the past] are the ones who paved the path for us to be where we are now. ... They're the ones that started the journey and we're just on the ride.
CNN: You are considered the most powerful gymnast ever, and yet you are one of the smallest. Is there a message here for little girls out there who may be interested in or are playing sports now?
Biles: Yes, because if you're small, you can still do anything just like anybody else. It doesn't mean you can't, so I think that's what it is.
CNN: Is there one thing that you haven't been able to do while training for the Olympics that you can't wait to do as soon as you can?
Biles: Yes, I really want to go cliff-jumping, off cliffs into water. My parents haven't let me do that. And then I really want to either snowboard or ski.
CNN: Will your parents allow you to do those activities, or are they waiting until you decide if you'll try to compete in Tokyo in 2020? How soon could we hear you may be snowboarding in Colorado in the winter?
Biles: [My parents] might let me try it, because I'll be done for a little bit. I'll take a break for a little bit so we can just have fun and explore