It has never been simple for female athletes to openly acknowledge just how great they are.
Take the US women's soccer team at this summer’s World Cup. Their ebullience at scoring goals against a weaker opponent was roundly criticised, and finally, their victory was so shrouded with criticism that a general air of malaise was felt rather than triumph.
What's refreshing about Simone Biles – the greatest gymnast of all time – is that the 22-year-old is finally understanding her worth.
Ahead of this weekend’s US national gymnastics championships at Kansas City’s Spirit Center, Biles was wearing a grey and white leotard – the same as her World Champions Centre teammates – with her surname and a crystal embroidered head of a goat (Greatest Of All Time) on the back.
Biles became the first woman to win five all-around titles at the Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart on Thursday, confirming her legacy as one of the best.
"It means the world to me," Biles said. "For my fifth, that's kind of unheard of so it was really exciting.
"But we finished strong and we gave it our all it's super exciting that we had the opportunity to do this."
It was Biles' 16th gold medal at the Worlds and added to her all-around world titles from 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018.
At the podium training session, wearing that GOAT leotard, Biles showed off two outlandishly difficult skills that, if performed in international competition, will be named for her.
The first was a triple twisting double somersault on floor exercise, which only a very few male gymnasts can perform and Biles’ is arguably better than most of them given that her body essentially replicates the diagrams in the gymnastic guidebook 'The Code Of Points'.
And then she went to the balance beam.
At the end of her exercise, she paused momentarily before launching into her dismount series of two back handsprings into a double-twisting double somersault.
It is extremely difficult to quantify “greatness” in a sport in which generally, female athletes may only compete for two to five years before retirement.
In contrast, Simone Biles has won the gold medal in the all-around competition at the World Championships every single year in which she’s competed since 2013 (the championships were not held in 2016 due to the Olympics, and Biles took the 2017 season off to recover from the Games).
In fact, she has not lost an all-around competition in which she has competed since 2013.
It is very difficult to quantify greatness in sports. But it is not difficult to quantify Simone Biles. She is the greatest female gymnast, ever.