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Cool Bolt leaves 'em flustered

Updated: 2016-08-06 07:42
By Agence France Presse In Rio De Janeiro (China Daily)

Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles are reigning Olympic and world champions in gymnastics, but meeting Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt in Rio proved an overwhelming experience for the US teammates on Wednesday.

"He was very cool walking into the cafeteria, and Aly (Raisman) and Gabby (Douglas) just about flipped the dinner table and screamed 'It's Usain!' like little girls," said 19-year-old Biles, a record 10-time world champion tipped to be one of the stars of the Rio Games.

"I was like, 'You guys, you have to calm down; do you know what it's like to be in that position?' But it was very cool," said Biles, who is competing in her first Olympics.

"It's the Olympics, but if you think about it, your brain's going to fall out. You're going to freak out. So we are trying to treat it like a championships."

Biles was equally impressed by rubbing shoulders with six-time men's world all-around gymnastics champion and Olympic gold medalist Kohei Uchimura of Japan.

"Everyone knows who he is; he's a legend and it's very exciting to watch him in competition," she gushed.

"It's awesome seeing him around the village because he's just so chilled, and every time he's in the cafeteria he's like, 'Yeah, like whatever, you know.'

"He just carries himself very well and we all look up to him, because he's a normal human being like the rest of us but he's done so much. We say, 'Hey, Kohei' every time we pass him, and he just does a head nod."

Four years ago, Biles was watching another African-American gymnast, Douglas, win all-around gold at the London Olympics. She said she can't believe how far she has come in the past four years, winning a third all-around and team title at last year's worlds.

"Every day in the room Laurie (Hernandez) and I are like, 'OK, this is a joke.' We're waiting to be woken up, like it's a dream," she said.

"We try not to go on social media unless we're posting a picture, but it's definitely a way to get our mind off gymnastics. Other than that, we're just chilling in the room and having fun."

Douglas, 20, became the first African American woman to become the Olympic all-around champion in London. She and Raisman - the 2012 floor exercise gold medalist - are competing in their second Olympics.

 Cool Bolt leaves 'em flustered

Simone Biles of the US trains on the uneven bars at the Rio Olympic Arena on Thursday. Damir Sagolj / Reuters

(China Daily 08/06/2016 page11)

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