Michelle Obama's advice to Olympic gymnast Simone Biles is inspirational

The former First Lady's iconic catchphrase could stick with you too...

Michelle Obama's advice, US First Lady Michelle Obama and US Olympic gymnast Simone Biles during a ceremony honoring the 2016 US Olympic and Paralympic teams during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, September 29, 2016
(Image credit: SAUL LOEB / Staff Getty)

Michelle Obama's advice to Olympic gymnast Simone Biles is inspirational as the young sports star revealed how the former First Lady had influenced her ambition.

There are not many people who can say they rubbed shoulders with Michelle Obama but young gymnast Simone did just that when she took to the stage at the White House, Washington DC, during a ceremony honoring the US 2016 Olympic and Paralympic teams who competed in Rio.

And if you're wondering what Michelle, 57, is doing now, she's still inspiring others.

Simone, 23, said, "I think she's been such an inspiration. Representation matters — kids looked at her and said, 'If she can be there, then I can too.' From the way she pushed boundaries to how she inspired young people to eat better and exercise, she changed so many lives," she told People magazine.

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But there's one iconic catchphrase that Michelle said during her speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention which has stuck with Simone.

She recalled, "For me, as an African American woman, something she said that I took to heart was 'When they go low, we go high,' " Biles reflects now. "Sometimes you have to be the bigger person. That'll always stick with me, especially being an African American. I like that one a lot."

Speaking about the time she met her idol, having filmed videos for Instagram together, Simone revealed Mrs. Obama even promised future sleepovers with her daughters Sasha, now 19, and Malia, 22.

She said, "She was so down to earth and so much fun. I really enjoyed my visit and I cherish those memories."

And it's heartwarming to see that once you cross paths with the former First Lady, who has since launched her own podcast, she doesn't forget you. 

Michelle publicly championed Simone back in 2019 when she became the first woman in nearly 70 years to win six U.S. all-around titles at the U.S.A. Gymnastics Championships, 

Mrs. Obama tweeted, 'Always breaking barriers, @Simone_Biles — couldn't be more proud of you!'

And Simone credits her as being part of the reason she's felt able to break down the barriers in society. She added, "She's such a role model that it makes you want to be the first in your category to do something, to strive to perfection."

Selina Maycock
Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life.

Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. Having spent the start of her career working on local newspapers and online, Selina spent six years as Acting News Editor and Entertainment Reporter at the Scunthorpe Telegraph where she dug into hard news stories, conducted interviews, covered court reporting, features, and entertainment, whilst going to gigs in her spare time.

Whilst at the paper she was awarded an O2 Media Judges' Special Award for helping a terminally ill cancer sufferer realise his dying wish and marry his childhood sweetheart through a successful newspaper campaign. Things like this are close to her heart when it comes to using journalism to make a positive difference in people's lives.

Selina later branched further into all things celebrity to became a Showbiz Writer at Heat magazine, covering red carpet events, showbiz parties, and various launches before going freelance for two years. One of her biggest celebrity achievements - aside from generating celebrity exclusives - was interviewing Take That (including Robbie Williams) and bumping into Simon Cowell so much at events she told him 'I'm calling you my showbiz dad!'

In 2017 she joined TI Media as a senior reporter on Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, Woman's Weekly celebrity desk before branching online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first.

When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.