Olympic hopeful gymnast Fred Richard discusses Simone Biles’ revenge tour, pressure on men and women in sport

Fred Richard is, in all likelihood, going to be participating in his first Olympics, even as most of the eyes of the world will be on the women’s side with Simone Biles entering her third Games.

Yet, despite the experience and success Biles has, she will still have plenty more pressure on her than the 20-year-old Richard. However, Richard said that is just the nature of the sport – women will always have more pressure than men.

“They have way more eyes on them, way more people tuning in. Of course, that’s pressure itself,” Richard said in a recent interview with Fox News Digital.

The cultures of both men and women are polar opposites, according to Richard.

“I think, the community on the men’s side is a lot more chill and laid back, whereas the girls, when they’re younger, this is everything, this is your life, and if you don’t win medals, you’re a failure in every way,” he said. “I think the men have built a culture that’s a little different than that where we can go out and have a little more fun and be a little loose with it, where women, that’s just the culture. Much more uptight, much less celebrations, much stricter, a lot riding on it.”

Perhaps Biles faces even more pressure than she originally planned after she was heavily criticized for missing several Olympic events in 2021 after experiencing a case of the “twisties,” or, better yet, the yips in gymnastics. So, after winning four gold medals in Rio in 2016, Biles competed in just one individual event five years later, earning the bronze for the balance beam.

Simone Biles celebrates

However, they seem all but cured, and she has been her vintage self. She won four gold medals at the 2023 World Championships, bringing her medal count in that tournament to 23.

“I’m really excited [to watch her in Paris]. She’s the most entertaining gymnast, by far, for so many reasons,: Richard said. “The way she came back, most comebacks are good – hers is dominant, she’s destroying everybody. It’s motivating on my end. It’s fun to watch.”

“I’ll be cheering her on at the Olympics, we’ll be doing our thing. It’s fun for me to look up to her when I’m younger and now be right by her side and watch her dominate.”

Simone Biles on the podium

Richard, who attends the University of Michigan, will be at the U.S. Trials in Minnesota later this month in hopes of making his first Olympics. 

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