According to her teammates, Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles never gets tired. So it was a rare thing to see Biles sleeping on the plane heading back to the United States from Rio de Janiero. Individual all-around silver medalist and Biles' best friend Aly Raisman snapped an Instagram of her sleeping before the plane had even left the ground, teasing her teammate for it. "Miss @Simone_Biles fell asleep before we took off," Raisman captioned the picture. "WHO'S THE GRANDMA NOW GUYS?"
Raisman, the oldest member of the Final Five by three years, is often referred to as the "grandma" or "mom" of the team, both because she's the oldest and because she apparently loves to sleep. "She's like our sleeping little grandma," Biles told NBC News. "She'll text me at 9:30, 'Simone be quiet' because she can hear us through the walls. And she always blames it on me. And I'll be like 'Okay grandma, go to bed.' "
Raisman confirmed the charges in a tweet last year, but she told NBC that she's the normal one and Biles has way too much energy. "It's normal to be tired when you work out a lot," Raisman said during the same interview. "But [Biles] is just never tired, I don't understand." That seemingly never-ending energy is the reason Biles sleeping was worthy of an Instagram — turns out that even Team USA's Energizer Bunny has to sleep occasionally.
It's a bittersweet moment to see the two young women who are so close and seem to have had so much fun together in Rio going home. Raisman lives in Massachusetts and Biles in Texas, so they probably won't get to see each other all the time like they have for the past month. Neither has offered much on their futures in gymnastics, but they will definitely reunite for the Kellogg's Tour of Champions, the 36-city tour that will take Team USA across the country to show off their skills.
But at 22 and 19 respectively, Raisman and Biles likely could have competed in their last Olympics, and may not continue their athletic careers for much longer. Artistic gymnastics has the lowest median age of any Olympic sport, and both women are now beyond that middle of that range. The intense physical demands of the sport and the continuous development of new, younger talent may dictate the end of both their careers before they get to compete at the Olympics again. Yet even if they choose to leave the sport, they seem to have built an unbreakable bond in Rio and throughout their last three years as teammates on the U.S. National Team.
The Olympics might have gotten Biles all tuckered out, but she's got plenty of time to sleep on the long flight home. Back in the States, life will be very different for Biles, whose overnight celebrity status will transform her life. It's a good thing she has a friend like Raisman on her side to help her through all the changes to come.