Simone Biles Agrees to Performance Wear Contract with Athleta After 6 Years with Nike

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVApril 23, 2021

Photo taken Oct. 29, 2015, shows Simone Biles of the United States biting her gold medal after winning the women's individual all-around at the world gymnastics championships in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images)
Kyodo News via Getty Images

United States Olympic gymnast Simone Biles has signed an apparel contract with Athleta after partnering with Nike for six years.

In an interview with Louise Radnofsky of the Wall Street Journal, Biles discussed why she made the move to Athleta:

"It wasn’t just about my achievements, it’s what I stood for and how they were going to help me use my voice and also be a voice for females and kids. I feel like they also support me, not just as an athlete, but just as an individual outside of the gym and the change that I want to create, which is so refreshing."

Biles also said she felt "it was time for a change" and lauded the fact that Athleta has a workforce that is 97 percent comprised of women, saying it is "truly for women by women."

In addition to the activewear contract, Biles told Radnofsky that Athleta is providing her with a platform to be an activist for women and girls as well.

Athleta, which was founded by Gap in 1998, will give Biles her own product line, which is something that never happened with Nike. Biles said she feels "Athleta is committed to diversity and inclusion, of all women, backgrounds, ages, sizes, abilities and races."

Biles will join longtime Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix, who left Nike over maternity rights to sign with Athleta in 2019.

The 24-year-old Biles is arguably the greatest gymnast of all time, as she won five medals in her Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Four of those medals were gold, including the all-around and team events.

Biles has also won a remarkable 25 medals at the World Championships, including 19 golds. She has won World Championship gold in the all-around five times and team event on four occasions.

At the 2021 Summer Games in Tokyo, Biles will look to add to her impressive career haul. If she repeats as the gold medalist in the all-around, she will become the first woman to win that event at back-to-back Olympics since Czechoslovakia's Vera Caslavska in 1964 and 1968.

Also, the U.S. has a chance to become the first country to win three straight team golds since the Soviet Union won eight in a row from 1952-1980.