PUBLISHED: 13:19 BST, 28 July 2021

PIERS MORGAN: Sorry Simone Biles, but there’s nothing heroic or brave about quitting because you’re not having ‘fun’ – you let down your team-mates, your fans and your country

Simone Biles has her own leotard line.

She designed it herself to inspire other athletes all over the world – and sells them through GK Elite Sportswear for up to $390 a piece.

Biles proudly wore several leotards from her own collection at last month’s US Gymnastics Championships; one white and lilac, the other black.

But they had an extra detail not available to the public – a rhinestone symbol of a goat, on the shoulder of her white leotard and the hip of the black one.

Biles didn’t choose a goat to personify her brand because they’re her favourite animal.

She chose it because in sporting terms, it stands for G.O.A.T. or Greatest Of All Time.

‘I want kids to learn that, yes, it’s okay to acknowledge that you’re good or even great at something,’ Biles explained, when asked about it.

And I have no problem with that

.Simone Biles was due to take part in all four parts of the women's team final gymnastics competition. She was the leader of the team, and indeed the unofficial leader of Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics as the squad's most successful Olympian. As such, she was expected to lead by example. However, in her first exercise, the Vault, she made a big mistake+7

Simone Biles was due to take part in all four parts of the women’s team final gymnastics competition. She was the leader of the team, and indeed the unofficial leader of Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics as the squad’s most successful Olympian. As such, she was expected to lead by example. However, in her first exercise, the Vault, she made a big mistake

Simone Biles has her own leotard line. She designed it herself to inspire other athletes all over the world Biles proudly wore several leotards from her own collection at last month's US Gymnastics Championships; one white and lilac
they had an extra detail not available to the public ¿ a rhinestone symbol of a goat, on the shoulder of her white leotard and the hip of the black one

Simone Biles has her own leotard line. She designed it herself to inspire other athletes all over the world Biles proudly wore several leotards from her own collection at last month’s US Gymnastics Championships; one white and lilac (left) the other black (right). But they had an extra detail not available to the public – a rhinestone symbol of a goat, on the shoulder of her white leotard and the hip of the black one

I like my sporting champions to be cocky little devils, especially when they’ve got the ability and medals to back up the rhetoric.

And they don’t get much cockier than Ms Biles.

When I interviewed her on Good Morning Britain two years ago, she radiated so much self-confidence I thought she might self-combust on set.

‘You’re the most unbeatable athlete in the history of athletics, right?’ I said.

‘Yeah,’ she agreed, without a moment’s pause.

‘What’s it like to be invincible?’

‘I feel like there are people out there that could potentially beat me,’ she replied, ‘but even on my worst days, like that day (in the 2018 World Championships) when I fell twice, with huge (points) deductions, and I didn’t think I was going to win, and I went on Floor thinking ‘Oh God, what’s going to happen now?’ and then I still won.’

‘You’ve got to crave winning and hate losing,’ I suggested, ‘otherwise what’s the point in competing in anything? ‘

She nodded.

‘I also love how self-critical you are even when you win,’ I added.

‘Yes, I feel like nowadays it happens a lot,’ she grinned, ‘because I typically win every competition that I’m entering… so I feel like there’s always something I’m upset about or that didn’t go right, and I’m always striving to be perfect.’

‘Who’s going to beat you at the 2020 Olympics, Simone?’ I asked.

‘No-one,’ interrupted British gymnast Max Whitlock, sitting next to her, and they both fell about laughing.

But it turned out there was someone – herself.

Simone Biles was due to take part in all four parts of the women’s team final gymnastics competition.

She was the leader of the team, and indeed the unofficial leader of Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics as the squad’s most successful Olympian.

As such, she was expected to lead by example.

However, in her first exercise, the Vault, she made a big mistake.

She was supposed to do an ‘Amanar’ vault, which begins with a roundoff back handspring onto the table followed by two 1/2 twists in mid-air, but she only did one 1/2 twist instead.

Biles looked annoyed with herself, just as she did when she fell at the World Championships.

But rather than dust herself down and battle on for Gold, as she did in 2018, she did something which absolutely staggered me.

Biles was supposed to do an 'Amanar' vault, which begins with a roundoff back handspring onto the table followed by two 1/2 twists in mid-air, but she only did one 1/2 twist instead. Biles looked annoyed with herself, just as she did when she fell at the World Championships. But rather than dust herself down and battle on for Gold, as she did in 2018, she did something which absolutely staggered me. She quit

Biles was supposed to do an ‘Amanar’ vault, which begins with a roundoff back handspring onto the table followed by two 1/2 twists in mid-air, but she only did one 1/2 twist instead. Biles looked annoyed with herself, just as she did when she fell at the World Championships. But rather than dust herself down and battle on for Gold, as she did in 2018, she did something which absolutely staggered me. She quit

The world's greatest ever gymnast, a woman who proudly told me how she fought back after making big mistakes to win Gold, just gave up at the first hurdle of these Olympics. Biles left her team to fight on without their leader and supreme motivational champion, and rather than win the Gold medal they were hot favourites to win, they came second to the Russians

The word’s greatest ever gymnast, a woman who proudly told me how she fought back after making big mistakes to win Gold, just gave up at the first hurdle of these Olympics. Biles left her team to fight on without their leader and supreme motivational champion, and rather than win the Gold medal they were hot favourites to win, they came second to the RussiansSimone Biles+7

Biles said she wasn’t carrying an injury. ‘Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape,’ she said. ‘Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment. Coming to the Olympics and being head star isn’t an easy feat.’ Head star… hmmm, there’s that GOAT ego rearing its head again. But if you’re going to call yourself the Greatest of All Time and ‘head star’ then you’re putting a lot of that pressure on yourself, aren’t you?

The world’s greatest ever gymnast, a woman who proudly told me how she fought back after making big mistakes to win Gold, just gave up at the first hurdle of these Olympics.

She left her team to fight on without their leader and supreme motivational champion, and rather than win the Gold medal they were hot favourites to win, they came second to the Russians.

Biles said she wasn’t carrying an injury.

‘Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape,’ she said. ‘Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment. Coming to the Olympics and being head star isn’t an easy feat.’

Head star… hmmm, there’s that GOAT ego rearing its head again.

But if you’re going to call yourself the Greatest of All Time and ‘head star’ then you’re putting a lot of that pressure on yourself, aren’t you?

Then Biles said something really extraordinary and illuminating: ‘I feel like I’m also not having as much fun. This Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself, but I came in and I felt like I was still doing it for other people. It hurts my heart that doing what I love has been kind of taken away from me to please other people.’

Sorry, WHAT?

You’re not just at these Games for yourself, Simone.

You are part of Team USA, representing the United States of America, and hundreds of millions of American people watching back home, not to mention all the sponsors who’ve paid huge sums to support you.

And when you quit, you were performing as part of a gymnastics team, not yourself.

It’s also not supposed to just be about having fun.

The Olympics are the pinnacle of sport – the ultimate test of any athlete. They’re supposed to be very hard and very tough, physically, mentally, and any other way you care to name.

Biles blamed social media for her new-found nerves and self-doubt.

‘I don’t trust myself as much anymore,’ she said. ‘Maybe it’s getting older. There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world. We’re not just athletes, we’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back.’

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