Taylor Swift backed American gymnast Simone Biles ahead of her bronze medal-winning return to the Olympics on Wednesday.
The Shake It Off hitmaker voiced an NBC promo focusing on Biles and her participation in the beam event – a discipline she eventually finished third in, just days after it seemed her Olympic Games might be over.
The four-time Olympic champion, 24, made headlines last week when she decided to sit out team and individual events in Tokyo to focus on her mental health, a move that sparked some criticism, but also a deluge of support from fans, fellow athletes, and stars.
Backed to Swift’s song This Is Me Trying, from her Grammy-winning album Folklore, in the promo, the singer asks a few questions of viewers, including, “What do we want from our heroes? What do we expect from them? What do we need from them?”
The minute-long video shows a clip montage of the Biles competing, followed by her announcing her choice to step away.
Swift then continued, “What happens may surprise us. When you have the attention of the world, everything you do takes on a bigger meaning. It can be a heavy burden. It can be a chance to change everything.
“Throughout the last week, her voice has been as significant as her talents. Her honesty as beautiful as the perfection that had long been her signature. But don’t you see? It still is. She’s perfectly human, and that’s what makes it so easy to call her a hero.”
Biles shared the clip on Twitter, writing “I’m crying, how special. I love you @taylorswift13.”
Swift responded in a quote tweet, writing “I cried watching YOU. I feel so lucky to have gotten to watch you all these years, but this week was a lesson in emotional intelligence and resilience. We all learned from you. Thank you.”
The gymnast seemed inspired by Swift’s support, as she put her past troubles behind her to score a creditable 14.00 with her beam routine – just over half a point behind the winner, Guan Chenchen of China.