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‘I’m crying’: Simone Biles feels the love after Taylor Swift’s sweet Olympics tribute

A split image of a blond woman smiling and a brunette woman smiling
Taylor Swift, left, and Simone Biles engaged in a sweet Twitter exchange Tuesday.
(Frazer Harrison / Getty Images, left; Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Taylor Swift was enchanted to tweet Simone Biles this week after narrating a tribute to the gymnastics champion for the Tokyo Olympics.

On Tuesday, NBC released a sizzle reel previewing Biles’ upcoming Olympic balance-beam routine, narrated with admiration and compassion by the “Folklore” artist. In response to the glowing TV spot, Biles professed her love for Swift and vice versa in a touching Twitter exchange.

“I’m crying,” Biles tweeted, along with a heart and teary-eyed emoji. “How special. I love you @taylorswift13.”

“I cried watching YOU,” the Grammy winner replied in a tweet that already has amassed more than 387,000 likes. “I feel so lucky to have gotten to watch you all these years, but this week was a lesson in emotional intelligence and resilience. We all learned from you. Thank you.”

Before broadcasting Biles’ highly anticipated final outing at the Tokyo Olympics, NBC compiled a heroic montage recapping the athlete’s rocky Olympic journey to the tune of Swift’s “This Is Me Trying.”

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Last month, Biles stunned the world by withdrawing from multiple team and individual events in order to protect her mental and physical health. She returned to the competition Tuesday for the first time with a graceful beam routine that earned her the bronze medal.

“What do we want from our heroes? What do we expect from them? What do we need from them?” Swift says in the inspirational promo.

“What happens when they surprise us? ... When you have the attention of the world, everything you do takes on a bigger meaning. It can be a heavy burden. ... It can be a chance to change everything.”

The Times TV team tuned in to NBC’s prime-time coverage of the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday and broke down where it succeeded — and where it fell short.

Shortly before competing in the balance-beam final, Biles revealed to reporters that her aunt had recently and “unexpectedly passed,” further compounding what had already been an emotionally trying experience for the gymnast at the Summer Games.

Two days later, Biles’ beam performance secured the athlete her seventh Olympic medal, tying Shannon Miller as the most decorated female American Olympic gymnast of all time.

“Throughout the last week, [Biles’] voice has been as significant as her talents, her honesty as beautiful as the perfection that had long been her signature,” Swift narrates in the NBC preview.

“But don’t you see? It still is. She’s perfectly human. And that’s what makes it so easy to call her a hero.”

Photo: Simone Biles returns to the competition floor — and wins the bronze medal in the balance beam.

After coming in third place at Tuesday’s beam competition, Biles spoke with reporters about her decision to attempt one last apparatus before saying goodbye to Tokyo.

“The pressure was there, but I was doing it more for myself, and I was excited to just compete at the Olympic Games, because that’s what I planned coming in,” she said.

“[It] just meant the world to be back out there. I wasn’t expecting to walk away with a medal. I was just going out there doing this for me and whatever happens, happens.”


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