Simone Biles has officially taken over the 2016 Rio Olympics.
With her unparalleled athleticism and gravity-defying routines, Biles continues to make us proud on the world stage. The first black woman to win the all-around world title, 19-year-old Biles has taken the gymnastics world by storm, even getting a move named after her, “The Biles.”
As Biles continues to dominate the Olympics, the pint-sized 4’8″ powerhouse is also a serving as a living representation of an important shift in the gymnastics world.
As the Reeves Wiedeman of The New Yorker pointed out in his May profile of Biles, health issues relating to body image have long been a problem for some gymnasts. Wiedeman notes that American gymnast, Christy Henrich, once weighed-in at only 47 pounds, after being told by a judge that she was too heavy. Henrich died of organ failure in 1994.
Fortunately, the sport has evolved to favor the powerhouse athleticism epitomized by Biles’ gravity-defying routines. While that means Biles must maintain a healthy and balanced diet, she’s certainly not obsessing over every single calorie.
Aimee Boorman, Biles’ longtime coach, told The New Yorker that she has never interfered with Biles’ dietary choices.
“She knows that if she doesn’t eat well, she doesn’t feel good,â€ Boorman said.
Wiedeman notesÂ that at one dinner he shared with Biles, she enjoyed a “very large porkÂ chop stuffed with dirty riceâ€ and a Fanta.
As for her daily diet, the World Champion gymnast shared her must-haves in an interview withÂ Women’s Health
“I make breakfast, which is usually Kellogg’s Red Berries or egg whites, and then I go to the gym that’s only 10 minutes away,â€ Biles told Women’s Health. Â I have practice from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and then I drive home and eat lunch, which is either chicken or fish so I get the protein.”
Biles also makes sure to grab a “quick snackâ€ before heading back to the gym for more training.
“Pre-workout, I love drinking Core Power; it’s a recovery drink. And then a banana and peanut butter, because bananas have potassium, which helps with muscle cramps,â€ Biles said. “And then afterwards, I like having a good fish, like salmon, and rice, and carrots.”