Simone Biles Talks Supporting Suni Lee at U.S. Gymnastics Championships: 'Knew She Needed Some Encouragement'

"I knew exactly what was going through her head. I dealt with that in Tokyo," Biles said

<p>Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty</p> Simone Biles and Suni Lee

Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty

Simone Biles and Suni Lee

Despite being focused on her solo performance during this year’s U.S. Gymnastics Championships, eventual winner Simone Biles also took time out to show support for fellow gymnast Suni Lee after she had a mishap early on in the competition.

After cinching her historic ninth win, Biles spoke with the media and shared the words of encouragement she offered Lee, who had failed to stick the landing during her vault routine.

“I knew exactly what was going through her head. I dealt with that in Tokyo," Biles said. "I knew that she needed some encouragement and somebody to trust her gymnastics for her and to believe in her."

“That’s exactly what I did, I went back there and I went to talk to her … I’ve been in her shoes and I’ve done that exact thing. I know how traumatizing it is, especially on a big stage like this. I didn’t want her to get in her head.”

Related: Simone Biles’ Husband and Family Are Locked in as She Wins Historic 9th National Championship – Watch!

<p>Elsa/Getty</p> Suni Lee and Simone Biles


Suni Lee and Simone Biles

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Biles could tell that Lee was dealing with the “twisties,” a mental block where a gymnast is losing track of where they are in the air during flips. It's what led Biles to pull out of the all-around competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and enabled Lee to then step up and win gold that year.

While also speaking to reporters during the press conference, Lee said that she appreciates the support Biles gave her.

“I think she knew that I needed help in the moment. She out of anyone understands basically what I did on vault. She just came over to see if I was okay and basically just help boost me up and get my confidence back up because at that point I was kind of thinking that this was over," Lee said. "It was really nice having her in my corner."

Related: Simone Biles Wins Gymnastics Classic After Competing Against Suni Lee and Gabby Douglas for First Time

<p>Elsa/Getty</p> Simone Biles


Simone Biles

Next up for Biles and Lee are the U.S. Olympic Trials, which determines who will represent the USA at the Paris Olympics this summer. With Biles practically guaranteed to go, she also spoke at her press conference about being one of the oldest gymnasts competing, at age 27.

“I use the phrase ‘aging like fine wine,’ ” Biles said. “It’s just getting better and better. We’ll see. Hopefully we get to ride this out for the rest of the year.”

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