Simone Biles, a synonymous figure with excellence and unparalleled athleticism, has reshaped the landscape of gymnastics.
Her extraordinary career, marked by record-breaking achievements and unwavering determination, serves as an inspiration to millions worldwide.
To truly comprehend the magnitude of her influence, two essential documentaries offer an intimate glimpse into the life and journey of this exceptional athlete.
“Simone Biles: Courage to Soar” (2018)
This documentary takes audiences on a compelling journey from Simone’s modest beginnings in Columbus, Ohio, to her ascent as the most decorated gymnast in World Championship history.
It delves into her early years, highlighting the steadfast support of her family, especially her grandparents, who adopted Simone and her sister amid their biological mother’s struggles with substance abuse.
The Road to Rio
A significant portion of the documentary focuses on Simone’s preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Viewers witness her rigorous training sessions, emotional highs and lows, and the obstacles faced on her quest for Olympic glory.
The film adeptly captures the relentless work ethic underlying Simone’s success and the sacrifices made to become a gymnastics legend.
What sets this documentary apart is its unvarnished portrayal of Simone’s personal challenges.
From managing a demanding training schedule to navigating the pressures of being a role model, the film provides an unfiltered look at the psychological toll of elite athletics.
Simone’s resilience and mental strength shine as she confronts the complexities of fame and competition.
Legacy Beyond Gymnastics
“Courage to Soar” not only celebrates Simone’s gymnastic brilliance but also explores her impact beyond the mat.
The documentary showcases her advocacy for mental health awareness and role as a trailblazer for inclusivity in sports.
Simone’s journey becomes a testament to perseverance and the ability to overcome obstacles both within and outside the gym.
“Simone vs Herself” (2021)
A Glimpse Behind the Curtain
Released after the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, “Simone vs Herself” offers an intimate and timely view into Simone’s life as she readies herself for the rescheduled Games.
The documentary provides a behind-the-scenes perspective on the challenges and uncertainties athletes faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, shedding light on Simone’s decision to prioritize her mental health, a pivotal moment sparking broader conversations about athlete well-being.
The Twisties Controversy
A significant aspect covered in “Simone vs Herself” is the twisties controversy during the Tokyo Olympics.
The film delves into Simone’s struggles with mental blocks, known as the twisties, which temporarily hindered her ability to perform complex maneuvers safely.
This raw portrayal humanizes Simone, illustrating the immense pressure and expectations on elite athletes.
The documentary captures Simone’s determination to prioritize her mental health, setting a precedent for athletes globally.
It explores her decision to withdraw from certain events, sparking conversations about the importance of mental well-being in sports.
“Simone vs Herself” becomes a potent advocacy tool for destigmatizing mental health struggles and empowering athletes to prioritize their overall wellness.
A Champion’s Vulnerability
Unlike conventional sports documentaries, “Simone vs Herself” reveals the vulnerability of a champion.
It showcases Simone’s courage in confronting her inner demons and prioritizing self-care over external expectations.
This documentary is not just about gymnastics; it’s a poignant exploration of the human side of an athlete who, despite unparalleled success, faces the same challenges as anyone else.
The Impact of Legacy
As Simone contemplates her gymnastics future, “Simone vs Herself” leaves viewers with a profound sense of the impact she has had on the sport.
Her legacy extends beyond medals and records, touching the very fabric of how society views and supports its athletes.
The documentary pays tribute to Simone’s resilience, advocacy, and the enduring mark she has left on the world of gymnastics.
Simone Biles’ groundbreaking career has not only revolutionized gymnastics but has also inspired a global audience.
The documentaries “Simone Biles: Courage to Soar” and “Simone vs Herself” offer unparalleled insights into the life, challenges, and triumphs of this exceptional athlete.
Through these films, viewers witness not only the physical prowess that made Simone a legend but also the mental fortitude and resilience that define her legacy.
In celebrating Simone Biles, we applaud not just a gymnastics icon but a symbol of courage, authenticity, and the enduring spirit of human achievement.