ANTWERP, BELGIUM — Gymnast Simone Biles recently won a world championship title, but a competitor’s racial remarks about the victory has cast a shadow.
The soft-spoken yet powerful 16-year-old from Spring, Texas became the first African-American to win the all around title at the World Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.
“It was really exciting and an honor to go out and represent the United States,” said Biles.
In an interview following the competition Italian gymnast Carlotta Ferlito described a conversation she had with her teammate Vanny Ferrari saying, “I told Vanny that next time we should also paint our skin black so then we could win too.”
When backlash quickly followed, Ferlito took to Twitter to make amends saying, “I want to apologize with the Americans girls. I didn’t want to sound rude or racist. I love Simone and I’m a huge fan of USA gymnastics.”