Gymnast Simone Biles made a bleary-eyed appearance on Good Morning America on Tuesday to plug her upcoming national tour – admitting that she got just 90 minutes of sleep before her on-screen appearance, which came hours after she made a glittering debut at the Met Gala.
The 24-year-old gymnast, who wowed on the red carpet at the star-studded event in an impressive beaded gown, looked like a different person come Tuesday morning, when she opted for a much more low-key ensemble and a simple top knot.
Speaking to host Robin Roberts about her first-ever Met Gala experience, Biles described the evening as ‘amazing’, before admitting that she’d only managed to get an hour and a half of sleep, before racing over to the GMA studios.
‘It’s been a long night, I’ve had an hour and a half [of sleep],’ she said, before hastily adding: ‘But I’m happy to be here!’
Sleepy? Simone Biles made a rather bleary-eyed appearance on Good Morning America on Tuesday – having had just 90 minutes of sleep after her Met Gala debut on Monday
Smiling through the pain! The 24-year-old appeared to try and stifle a few yawns during her appearance, but managed to crack a smile while plugging her national gymnastics tour
Stunning in silver: Biles made quite the splash at the Met Gala on Monday, making her debut at the event in a stunning floor-length gown – which weighed a whopping 88lbs
Biles made quite the sartorial statement on Monday night, modeling a custom floor-length silver beaded gown that weighed a staggering 88lbs – and required six men to help her lift it up the iconic Met steps.
‘I had six men helping me, so without their help I probably wouldn’t have made it very far – or into the Met at all,’ she joked.
Despite having to deal with the hefty weight of her dress, Biles described her first Met Gala as ‘absolutely amazing’, adding that she was honored that she and so many other athletes – including her Olympic teammate Suni Lee – were invited to attend.
‘It was absolutely amazing and I think this year we had so many athletes that got to attend,’ the gymnast said, before admitting that she was ‘shocked’ at just how many of the VIP attendees ‘knew who she was’.
‘[It] was really nice to be able to be recognized but a lot of the people that I didn’t think would know who I was [did know me],’ she continued. ‘It just shocks me because it’s two different worlds, like athletes, actors, actresses, celebrities. It’s just so different.’
It has been a busy few days of celebrity hobnobbing for Biles – who also attended the VMAs in Brooklyn on Sunday night, when she rubbed shoulders with many of the same A-listers who then strutted their stuff on the Met Gala carpet.
However she is now planning to spend the next week preparing for her upcoming tour – named the Gold Over America Tour, or GOAT – which kicks off on September 21 and will see her traveling to 35 cities across the US alongside several other sporting stars, including her Olympic teammates Mykayla Skinner, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum and Jade Carey.
Helpers: The gymnast’s dress was so heavy, she had to be assisted by six men in order to make it up the Met steps and into the event – where she later removed the long skirt
Who needs leotards! The gymnast looked every inch the fashion star in her beaded ensemble
Low-key: Biles traded her red carpet glamour for a cozy hoodie and leggings as she made her live TV appearance
Speaking about the tour, which is sponsored by Athleta, a brand for which she serves as a spokesmodel, Biles said she wanted to provide her fellow gymnasts with a platform through which they can interact with their fans in a way that they were not able to do at the Tokyo Games.
‘I hope everybody can come out and watch just because we didn’t get that audience in Tokyo so we’re hoping to at least get that interaction and see some of our fans and our family,’ she said.
When it came to the absence of friends, family, and spectators at the Olympics, Biles noted that this only served to exacerbate the mental health struggles that blighted her quest for gold – and saw her pull out of five different event finals, many of which she had been expected to win.
‘This Olympic process has not been easy,’ she confessed. ‘Going over there without an audience, without your parents, and kind of being secluded was so different than any of the other Olympics.’
However, she said that the support that she received from so many other athletes – including Tom Brady and Serena Williams – in the wake of her decision to speak out about her mental health battles ‘meant the world to her’ and made the process ‘a little bit easier’.
Although she did not address it during her GMA appearance, Biles also has another more somber event coming up in her calendar.
Hours before the Met Gala it was also revealed that Biles and her 2016 Olympic teammate Aly Raisman will both testify in front of the senate about the FBI’s ‘mishandling’ of the cast against pedophile doctor Larry Nassar.
Nassar, 58, is currently serving a life sentence after pleading guilty in late 2017 and early 2018 to sexually assaulting women and girls while working as a sports medicine doctor at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University (MSU).
However, the gymnast seemed keen to focus only on the positive when it came to Tuesday morning’s TV interview – during which the senate investigation was not mentioned in amongst her Met Gala discussions.
Up next: Biles is due to kick off a lucrative 35-city gymnastics tour on September 21, explaining that she is excited for the opportunity to perform in front of spectators and fans once again
Struggle: Speaking about the mental health issues that blighted her quest for gold in Tokyo, Biles admitted that she found it difficult going to the Olympics without any friends or family
Shock: Biles stunned the world when she pulled out of the team final in Tokyo after flubbing her vault during the first event
The two sports stars, who competed side by side in Tokyo just a few weeks ago, proved that they can hold their own alongside some of fashion’s biggest stars as they put their most fashionable foot forward – trading their leotards for stunning couture ensembles.
While Biles went for a hefty beaded number, Lee, who claimed the gold medal in the event after her teammate dropped out of contention amid struggles with her mental health, seemed to celebrate her Olympic win by donning a dazzling gold two-piece outfit.
Lee’s look featured a chic crop top that had large gold beads around the neck and sleeves, and which she wore with a flowing metallic skirt.
The skirt had a mullet-style hemline that raised up in the front, showcasing the gymnast’s toned limbs, before dropping down at the back into a lengthy train that flowed behind her as she made her way down the carpet.
She finished the look off with some simple gold heels, while her long brunette locks were pulled back in a sleek ponytail with a golden hair accessory that dazzled in the light as she turned this way and that in front of the cameras.
Despite this year’s event serving as her Met Gala debut, Lee looked right at home in front of the cameras, having no doubt grown accustomed to the attention while she was competing in Tokyo – where she proved triumphant in the women’s all-around final, claiming a gold medal in the highly-competitive event.
Her win came not long after her teammate Biles sparked furious controversy by dropping out of five event finals amid struggles with her mental health – prompting some critics to accuse her of ‘quitting’ and ‘abandoning’ her young teammates.
From the beam to this! Biles’ stunning gown stretched out at the hips and it perfectly hugged her figure at the waist, helping to emphasize her slim physique
She’s got a feeling: Speaking to Vogue about her dress, Biles said that it made her feel ’empowered’ – despite its hefty weight
But on Monday, Biles happily rose above her critics, showing off a dazzling smile as she happily posed for the cameras.
However Biles’ red carpet appearance was not quite as easy breezy as she made out – with the gymnast revealing after she made her way towards the venue’s doors that she was actually struggling to maneuver herself in her impressive beaded dress.
‘How do I feel in the dress? It’s definitely heavy, but I feel beautiful, strong, and empowered,’ she told Vogue at the event.
Thankfully, Biles had several helpers on hand to assist her with her movements, with a handful of men happily moving around the long train of her beaded gown – which actually featured a mini skirt underneath for her to change into should the full-length number grow too cumbersome throughout the night.
Needless to say the gymnast would not be performing any flips and spins in the gown, however she didn’t let its hefty weight stop her from enjoying her first-ever Met Gala appearance.
The former Vogue cover girl couldn’t take the smile off her face as she arrived at the iconic venue, showing off a very glamorous beauty look, blinged-out earrings, and a long low ponytail that hung down the back of the gown.
As she walked up the stairs, the large beaded skirt of the dress parted, flashing a quick peek at the star’s long black-and-silver tights and her sky-high black heels.
Teamwork! Biles’ Olympic teammate Sunisa Lee was also in attendance at the event – where she seemed to celebrate her all-around victory by wearing a pretty gold dress
Throwback: The two women only returned from Tokyo last month, having had to weather their fair share of controversy over Biles’ decision to withdraw from multiple finals
Going for gold: Lee on the other hand wore a chic two-piece look, which perfectly matched the color of her all-around medal
Coming up: The gymnast took a break from her Dancing With the Stars training schedule in order to attend the event for the first time
It has been quite the busy few weeks for both women, who returned from Tokyo last month to a hero’s welcome in their respective hometowns: Biles in Spring, Texas, while Lee headed home to Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Since then, the 18-year-old has started her collegiate career at Auburn University, where she is currently enrolled in her freshman year – and for whom she is due to complete in the NCAA at the start of 2022 when the season kicks off.
Her participation in the college league will see her making history as the first-ever all-around gymnastics champion to compete in the NCAA.
Before then however, Lee has her sights set on another prize: Dancing With the Stars’ iconic mirror ball trophy for which she will compete on-screen when the newest season of the talent show kicks off later this month.
Biles meanwhile has had a bit more free time on her hands – which she has put to good use by soaking up some sunshine in Mexico with several of her best friends, while also enjoying time at home with her NFL star boyfriend Jonathan Owens.
During her appearance on GMA, she explained that the weeks since the Games have been a ‘whirlwind’, explaining that she has spent much of it trying to lean on those closest to her.
‘I’m doing OK. It’s kind of been a whirlwind since I got back home, but at least I got a couple of weeks to be at home and just kind of unwind, take care of myself, rest up, be with my family and friends, and those who care about be the most,’ she said.
‘That’s been really heartwarming.’