Somehow Simone Biles Was Nervous About Carrying The U.S. Flag In The Closing Ceremony
After winning five Olympic medals, you'd think everything would be a casual walk on the balance beam for Simone Biles, who was chosen to carry the American flag at the 2016 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, an honor reserved for America's top athlete at the Olympic Games. But the world's best gymnast had a few worries about her role in the Rio Olympics closing ceremony, because even people who can flip three times in the air at rapid-fire speeds and with superhuman strength are still, well, human.
Biles led the American contingent into the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, Aug. 21, two weeks after Michael Phelps fulfilled the role at the opening ceremony. As the leader of Team USA, Biles was tasked with carrying a giant American flag, which really should seem easy for the four-time gold medalist. Considering that Biles' daily workout includes climbing a rope without using her legs, holding a flag seems like it would be the least stressful part of this Olympics for Biles.
Actually, that's not the case. "I’m afraid the flag is going to be too heavy for me," Biles told USA Today in an interview on Sunday. "Michael Phelps is so much taller and he seemed to carry it so easily, and I’m very short. So I’m a little worried about that part."
OK, so Biles has a point there. Although the flag isn't very heavy at all, it is large. According to USA Today, the flag Biles carried was about 9 feet in length. Biles is just 4-feet, 8-inches tall, so the flag was essentially twice her size.
But if this Olympics has proved anything, it's that the women of Team USA can do anything the men can do — and better. From Biles to swimmer Katie Ledecky, who also garnered five medals and shattered her own world record, the women of Team USA slayed the Rio Olympics and dominated the competition.
Joining Biles at the closing ceremony are her Final Five teammates Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian. Two-time Olympian Gabby Douglas did not attend the ceremony, having already left Rio de Janeiro.
On Sunday, Raisman posted a photo on Twitter of the remaining four members of the Final Five, all decked out in their patriotic Ralph Lauren polo shirts and shorts. Congratulations, Biles, and the Final Five!