‘Simone vs Herself’: Director shares the experience of documenting the gymnastic star’s life


CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — A new documentary series is taking viewers behind the scenes of gymnast Simone Biles’ life ahead of her next big international performance at the Tokyo Olympics.

The director of docuseries “Simone vs Herself,” Gotham Chopra, is no stranger to profiling some of the biggest athletic stars including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

He told NewsNation what he was most surprised to learn about the star athlete’s inner monologue when she does some of the more complicated gymnastic maneuvers, including ones she invented.

“[She told me] every time I do it, I’m terrified. I’m afraid I envision the worst thing possible, which I thought was kind of funny, because when you work with elite athletes, you always hear they’re fearless, and they just like they’re so in the moment. And Simone has like, this candor about her, she just kind of says what she feels,” explained Chopra.

The 24-year-old first debuted in the 2016 Olympics and captured the world’s attention with her athletic skill. She won five gold medals at the games.

Biles also made headlines during the trial of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar when she revealed he sexually assaulted her.

“She’s still processing a lot of what’s happened to her. She’s only 24 years old. A lot of her, you know, trauma that she’s been through. She’s in the process of working it out. And that kind of happened on camera in some ways. And you really feel that it’s that is a little surprising as well,” said Chopra.

Chopra also told NewsNation about some of the concerns Biles shared with him ahead of the Tokyo Olympics going forward despite the pandemic.

“Yeah, I think she’ll be the first to tell you that it’s her physical training, she knows she’s got great trainers, she’s so in touch with her own body like she knows where she is…I think it’s the mental aspect in general. That has always been our biggest challenge. And now you throw pandemic and all the complications and variables,” said Chopra.

The docuseries Simone vs Herself premieres June 15 on Facebook Watch.

Watch the full interview in the player above

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