Simone Biles Once Showed True Sportsmanship by Giving ‘Rival’ Rebeca Andrade Her Crown at 2023 World Artistic Championship

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As the US Gymnastics Trials set off in 3 days, the spotlight once again turned towards the gymnastics G.O.A.T, Simone Biles. But while she limbers up to put on an unforgettable show in the US, Brazilian prodigy Rebeca Andrade has ‘been there, done that.’ Clinching the 2024 Brazil Trophy on 23rd June, Andrade evinced her form and aced her final showdown before Paris. Thus, should Biles qualify in the forthcoming Trials, the two gymnasts would go head-to-head for Olympic glory next month.

While the ‘rivalry’ dynamic has been making waves for a long time, an incident has resurfaced from when the two shared a special moment. Like a pail of water on a fire, it ensured the ostensibly fuming rivalry died down for a bit.

In 2023, Simone Biles and Rebeca Andrade faced each other at the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Belgium. Both peaking with ambition, posed stiff competition to one another on the mats. But on the ultimate day, after the floor exercises, one iconic gesture changed everything.

The three winners, Biles, Andrade, and Flavia Saraiva, were positioned next to each other before the podium ceremony commenced. This was when Biles, who won gold in the floor category, replicated the action of taking off a crown from her head and placing it on Andrade’s. Chuckling in awe, Andrade seemed visibly overjoyed at this as she laughed out loud and bowed ahead, as though reciprocating the respect. And now, with the words, “Women Supporting Women❤️,” a Tik Tok Video has reminisced this adorable memory.

No matter the ever-changing dynamics on the mat, Simone Biles exhibited great sportsmanship that day. However, it doesn’t seem like a one-way street. In an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP), Andrade spoke about Biles.

She expressed, “It’s about doing my best. And I hope she (Biles) does too, that she does her best, because it’s an honour to be able to compete alongside her.” As evident, Andrade harbors equivalent respect for Biles in her heart.

There seems to be an underlying relatability between Biles and Andrade. The two passionate gymnasts possess top-notch skills and have been through rollercoaster journeys to be at this summit today. While 3 critical ACL injuries plagued Andrade’s career time and again, Biles has had her valiant fight against the ‘twisties’ and her mental health struggles. However, the gymnastics mats would beg to differ in this dynamic, as they have registered the ‘ambitious’ versions of the Biles-Andrade story. Let’s have a look.

Rebeca Andrade, a potential threat to Simone Biles on the mat?

The two stellar athletes put up a tough fight against each other at the World Championships in Antwerp last year. Each relied on their arsenal to come back home with a tally of medals. In the vault section, the Brazilian reigned supreme as she restricted Biles to the silver and graced the pole position herself.

However, the American star relied on her finesse to redeem herself in the floor round, earning a gold. Besides, Biles continued to dominate as she grabbed the individual all-around title and the balance beam gold medal to her basket.

Besides, the two are also popular globally for their Tokyo Olympics results. Andrade is celebrated in her nation for being the first female Brazilian gymnast who conquered an Olympic medal, for she bagged a vault gold and an all-around silver in 2020. On the other hand, the 27-year-old Biles added a balance beam bronze and a team silver to her collection from Tokyo.

Therefore, there has been a history of a rather organic balance between their medal tallies at high-profile meets. But will it be a clean sweep this time? Let us know who you think can win it all in Paris.


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