Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles is looking forward to experiencing a little Chicago style.
At 19, Biles has already tasted gold. But on Tuesday, she got the chance to satisfy another craving — for deep-dish pizza.
“I kept bugging the guys. ‘We have to go to Giordano’s,” said Biles, who is in town for the Kellogg’s Tour Of Gymnastic Champions at the United Center.
Biles, who fills up after every meet with pepperoni pizza, had no problem jumping from contestant to judge, ruling deep-dish the king of pies.
“With pizza,” she said “the more the better.”
Biles also shopped on North Michigan Avenue and got a chance to follow in her air traffic controller father’s footsteps, visiting O’Hare International Airport on Tuesday to greet passengers and do some odd jobs, such as waving planes for takeoff from the tarmac.
The Chicago visit is the latest stop on a post-Olympic whirlwind tour that has kept Biles away from home for all but four nights since leaving Brazil, where she won four gold medals in Rio de Janeiro.
“We were all in shock because it finally happened. We woke up with our medals at the end of our beds and we realized what we had done. It doesn’t hit you until it’s all over,” Biles said.
Biles fell in love with gymnastics at a young age, and it has dominated much of her life since.
“One day I was sick and didn’t go to school, but I wanted to go to practice,” Biles said, “My mom was like, ‘No, that’s not how this works. You go to school and maybe you skip gym.'”
Which seemed totally backwards to her at the time.
“I was like, ‘That doesn’t make any sense to me.'”
She plans to begin training for her 2020 Olympic bid soon, but is enjoying the opportunity to catch up on everyday life — or as close as it gets for the young Olympian.
One of those everyday things is casting her ballot. The two-time Olympian says she will vote for the first time this election, and she won’t go to the polls alone.
“I think my parents want to take me,” she said, “because it’s my first time getting to vote.”