When it comes to Simone Biles, Jordan Chiles "will forever be by her side."
The United States gymnast made her support of the GOAT crystal clear in a July 28 interview on Today, mere hours after it was announced Biles had withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Olympics in Tokyo "in order to focus on her mental health," a USA Gymnastics statement cited. The news came less than 24 hours after the gold medalist first withdrew from the the team final competition before the U.S. gymnasts ultimately secured the silver.
"I was there for her, I supported her," Chiles, 20, told Today's Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb. "I did try to tell her, 'Look, you know how to do everything and this is you. This is your moment. It's all up to you.'"
"I really can't say a lot because she has to tell her own story," Chiles noted, "but all I know is I'm going to support her no matter what. I am her teammate. I'm her best friend."
Squashing any potentially lingering doubts over where her support lies, Chiles added, "She is my ride or die. I will forever be by her side."
The Olympic gymnast also offered more context to what Biles was experiencing before taking herself out of competition. "I honestly can tell you that she knows who she is, so when she goes out there, she's already done this before, she's already been an Olympian multiple times. I mean, she's the GOAT for the reason," Chiles explained. "When she knows what she has to do, she will take herself into that spot of, 'OK, look I don't want to harm anybody.'"
Referencing the moment when Biles could be seen saying "I don't trust myself," Chiles said, "She was telling herself she didn't want to harm herself."
According to Chiles, the feeling was not foreign for the rest of the team. "We all understood what she was going through. We all understood everything that was happening," she said. "We just support her."
While they would love for Biles to compete in the individual finals, ultimately, it's all about what's best for her.
"She's Simone for a reason," Chiles declared, "and if she puts her mind to something…She's not a quitter. You will never see Simone just go out there and not do what she knows she could do."
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)