Olympics 2021: Taylor Swift shows support for Simone Biles, praises gymnasts resilience in Tokyo
- Tory Barron is a Bristol-based writer and editor for ESPN.com. After retiring from playing lacrosse at UConn, the DC native decided to try her hand at writing about people playing sports.
Not many people can claim to have any notion of what it’s like to be Simone Biles — to have the world know your name and your every move scrutinized in the public eye. Taylor Swift, however, is one of them. It’s for this reason that the superstar performer’s words of support during the Tokyo Olympics resonated with Biles, who is tied with Shannon Miller as the most decorated American gymnast of all time. (While each gymnast has seven medals to her name, Biles has four golds and Miller has two.)
Swift has long been a fan of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team. She famously broke her Twitter silence in 2016 to congratulate the Final Five of Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian after they won gold in the team final in Rio. This week, she voiced a promo that aired on primetime Tuesday ahead of Biles’ return to compete in the balance beam final.
The spot — titled “Trying” and set to the tune of Swift’s song “this is me trying” from her eighth studio album “Folklore” — focuses on Biles’ journey at the Tokyo Games after withdrawing from the team final and multiple individual finals to focus on her mental health upon experiencing “the twisties.”
During the promo, Taylor reflects, “Throughout the last week, her voice has been as significant as her talents, her honesty as beautiful as the perfection that had long been her signature. But don’t you see? It still is. She’s perfectly human. And that’s what makes it so easy to call her a hero. Simone Biles. Back on the beam. In Tokyo.”
The emotionally-charged message left an impression on Biles as she took to Twitter to express appreciation for the songstress and her display of support.
Swift was quick to reply to the gymnast letting her know that she cried watching her bronze medal performance on beam, and thanking her for providing a “lesson in emotional intelligence and resilience.”
Is it getting dusty in here?
It would be hard to find a more supportive exchange between world-renowned celebrities that exists on the internet. But at least fairly certain none of them boast the Grammy to gold medal ratio of Swift and Biles.
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