World beater Biles trying not to think about Olympics

Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:22pm EST
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - Gymnast Simone Biles, an early favorite to emerge as the darling of the Rio Olympics, is gearing up for next month's American Cup in her home state of Texas and keeping her mind off the 'scary' 2016 Games.

The 17-year-old Biles, winner of four golds at last year's world championships in China including her second successive all-around title, said she has made a couple of upgrades to her routines for the March 7 event at the Cowboys' AT&T Stadium.

"I just want a really strong start to the season, and have fun," Biles told reporters on a conference call on Thursday, adding that lots of friends and family planned to attend.

Biles is trying to keep things normal and not obsess about Rio.

"I try not to think about 2016...yet," the gymnast said. "We still have this whole year to look ahead of us. We have to live in the moment and thinking about next year just scares me a little bit, so I try not to think about it.

"So if anyone brings up the Olympics, it's definitely not me. I'm just trying to get my confidence and make more upgrades, do what I've always done. So I haven't really thought about it. Or I try not to think about it."

For now, Biles is excited about performing in the huge expanse of AT&T Stadium, which she checked out last year as part of a promotion.

"I haven't competed in anything close to as big as this stadium is," Biles said about the venue that can seat 80,000 for football.   Continued...

Simone Biles of the U.S. competes on the balance beam during the women's team final event at the 2014 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, October 8, 2014. REUTERS/China Daily