Simone Biles: Adorable video of baby starstruck by cut-out of gymnast goes viral

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An adorable video of a baby starstruck by a cut-out of American gymnast Simone Biles has gone viral.

TikTok user Anna Matthew first shared the clip, which gained more than 335,000 views on the platform. It was then picked up on Twitter by Bleacher Report, who shared the video with the caption: “Simone Biles ​cutout had her starstruck.”

In the video, Matthew’s daughter is shown in a trolley in a supermarket. She is staring at a cardboard cut-out of four-time Olympic champion Biles, before breaking out into an adorable smile. Matthew captioned the video with “Not my baby thinking Simone Biles is smiling at her and she’s smiling back.”

TikTok users have pointed out the significance of the video, claiming it shows the importance of representation in sport. One user commented: “This is adorable and powerful example of why representation matters”, while another wrote: “Literally why we say representation matters!!! As she should.”

The adorable footage has managed to reach Biles, who shared the video and wrote: “how precious, my heart. Videos like this will never get old!”

Biles is not just a role model to Matthew’s daughter – she is an inspiration for many. The 24-year-old is widely considered the best gymnast of all time, with a record 25 world medals to her name.

She was dominant at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, winning gold medals in the all-around, vault, floor exercise and team. The American also finished with a bronze medal in the balance beam.

Despite her unparalleled success, Biles recently admitted in an interview with the BBC that she felt self-doubt “around the World [Championships] and in and around [her] comeback.” The icon had not participated in competitive gymnastics for almost 18 months prior to this year, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biles has returned to the competitive stage with aplomb, winning her seventh national all-around honour at the US National Championships in June. She also triumphed in the vault, balance beam and floor events.

This summer Biles will be competing at Tokyo 2020, where she will be hoping to defend her Olympic titles in style. She currently has four skills named after her, and has been working on even more groundbreaking moves for the Games.

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