The producers of Simone Biles’ new docuseries – which focus on the gymnast’s journey to the Tokyo Olympics – praised the impact of having a “women-centric” team for the project.
The seven-part series, titled “Simone Against Herself,” examines the ups and downs of Biles’ life over the past two years and celebrates the brilliance of one of the world’s greatest athletes.
Emmy-winning sports media company Religion of Sports was the mastermind behind the documentary. Senior Producer Katie Walsh spoke to Initiated on the importance of having a predominantly female team.
“Having such a team focused on women has been a real advantage for this project … especially with regard to the different elements that make up Simone’s story,” she said.
“Obviously she’s a survivor of sexual abuse. She’s been through a lot and we can identify as women in a way that is useful and useful to the overall project.”
ENTER THE CONTEST
Another essential aspect of the project was to gain the respect of Biles’ family. The gymnast has been open about the difficulties she has faced in the past and Religion of Sports acknowledged that the American star needs a production team that she would gladly welcome.
Considering that Biles’ female support network consists of her mom, sister, agent, and coach, it seemed natural to put together a predominantly female team for the docuseries.
“Simone is very protected by the people who really care about her,” said co-executive producer Giselle Parets.
“A decision was made to bring a team that [Simone’s] the officers and his family were going to really welcome.
Filming for the series took more than two years, due to the setbacks caused by the pandemic. While this naturally caused complications, it also allowed the crew to develop a more personal relationship with Biles – even while traveling with her on family vacations.
Afterward, the 24-year-old revealed inner thoughts she had never communicated publicly before, including how she had dealt with the emotional trauma of being sexually assaulted by the former doctor at the hospital. US National Women’s Gymnastics Team Larry Nassar.
“I was really careful when we went there because it triggers,” Walsh said. “Whenever you discuss Nassar or anything related to it, you have to take a few steps back to move forward again. And I knew that was the case for her.
Eventually, the trust built up to such an extent that Biles felt comfortable sharing everything. At this year’s Olympics, the team sent the gymnast with a camera to shoot video diaries.
Biles admitted that she struggled to cope with the weight of expectations on her shoulders in Tokyo, coupled with the prolonged mental trauma of dealing with what happened with Nassar. This caused her to suffer from a problem known as “twisties” and she was forced to withdraw from four Olympic events in Tokyo.
Yet at one notable point in the series, a tearful Biles records herself rolling over on her hotel bed in Tokyo. Walsh and Young were also in the same room as Biles’ family when she called home to tell her mother she couldn’t “do it” anymore.
The documentary also captures the heights of Biles’ experience in Tokyo, including his pride when the USA team won silver in the tag team all-around and his jubilation after winning bronze in the beam final, despite everything she had been through at the Games.
“She defied all greatness in my opinion,” Young said. “Her story became more important when she realized she was worth more than gold medals. Putting her health first will define her legacy – in a much better way than remembering. of his victory. “
You can read Insider’s full interview with the women behind the docuseries here
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