Jordan Chiles Reflects on Her Moment at the Tokyo Olympics

Introducing Jordan Chiles, the 20-year-old U.S. gymnast who stepped up to help her team win a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics

Olympics, Tokyo 2020

1/25/2022 4:00:00 PM

Introducing Jordan Chiles , the 20-year-old U.S. gymnast who stepped up to help her team win a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics

When Simone Biles had to pull out of the team event final, Chiles stepped in. The 20-year-old gymnast shares the lessons she learned from winning a silver medal at the Summer Games.

JC: I want you guys to go out there and have funTake us back to that moment. What was going through your head?all focus. She’s the most amazing person ever. At the end of the day, she supported see your friend who had trained for this moment to be on the sidelines?

Jordan, you were just so focused.That was scary for me. Everything was a blur at the end of the day, before we got our medal. We were like, how did this even happen?JC: You made me so proud. You went out there, you showed the world.

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By Bryna Jean-Marie EO:  What happened when you realized Simone wasn’t going to be able to compete in the team final? JC:  At first. I was like, are you serious? I thought we were disqualified because we lost a team member. I wasn't supposed to be on those two events in the first place. Then [our coach] was like, put your grips on.  As I was putting my grips on, I was just so confused. I was shaking at that point. Then, Simone came over to us and she was like, I want you guys to go out there and have fun . We all looked at each other—we were like, wait, no, we can’t, we need you! You’re literally the biggest person on the team. EO:  Take us back to that moment. What was going through your head? JC:  At that moment? I went all focus because I knew I was doing it for her. Knowing that she wasn’t with me was heartbreaking. At the same time, she was still with me. She was just playing a different role. She was literally being the mother of the team, helping us out. I didn’t think that she was going to feel comfortable coming back out, but when she came out, I was like, this person is strong . She’s the most amazing person ever. At the end of the day, she supported us EO: What was it like for you to  see your friend who had trained for this moment to be on the sidelines? JC:  Having your best friend, your role model, your hero out there—although she wasn’t competing, she was still there. Everybody said, Jordan, you were just so focused. All I could do in that moment was step into that position and be the person I needed to be for her. Trust me those shoes that I filled, those are some huge shoes. I could never do that again. That was a once in a lifetime thing. I told her: Bro, I don’t know if I could ever fill your shoes again. That was scary for me. Everything was a blur at the end of the day, before we got our medal. We were like, how did this even happen? EO:  When Team USA won the silver medal, it was a very emotional moment. Why? JC:  I never told anybody, but there was a little moment that happened before we even got onto the podium. In that moment, I felt like I didn’t make her proud enough. I cried because Simone started crying, and she asked me if I was O.K. And I told her, I'm sorry, I feel like I didn’t make you proud. I don’t remember everything she said, but she was like, You made me so proud. You went out there, you showed the world. She told me, You did such an amazing job. You guys are silver medalists. You got a silver medal with three people, that’s crazy.  EO:  How did the rest of the team feel knowing you made not only Simone proud, but all of Team USA? JC:  After that, it was all fun! We were like, look guys, we really did it—like, yay! Being there with the girls that I was with, I wouldn’t change that for the world, because we did what we did.  Tags