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Simone Biles and Sza Compare Handstand Technique. Did You Know the Singer Used To Be a Gymnast?

"That was so good!" Biles exclaimed after SZA showed her she still has game.

By Cydney Contreras

Sza's got moves — and we're not just talking about dance moves. 

As it turns out, the pop star used to be a gymnast back in the day, well before she won a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Hence her latest appearance alongside gymnast Simone Biles in a promo for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The singer joined Biles in the gym, where they caught up and stretched it out on the mat. Sza even showed up off her handstand skills, impressing Biles with her balance. "That was so good!" Biles exclaimed.

RELATED: Who's on Team USA? Here's a List of the Athletes Qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics

Sza's Gymnastics Experience

Back in 2013, the singer revealed to Complex that she trained in gymnastics for 13 years. She excelled in the sport and once considered a future as a professional athlete. "I directed all my attention to it. I did really well in sports and was captain of my team," she shared. 

In fact, she said that she was once "5th in the nation as a gymnast."

But, as athletes like Jordan Chiles can attest, gymnastics is no walk in the park and requires exhaustive training, which takes a toll on the body. "The extreme exercise stunts your growth, you're overexerting your body so much it doesn’t grow," she remembered.

Though the practice was intense, Sza loved the sport and how it made her feel. "I was very connected to it, to the growth. Learning new skills, being in the theater that I have in my body," she told NYLON

More than that, it was a way to to express herself in a time before she was performing for the masses. "You can get all of your energy out in one spurt and then really commit to it. And then it's done, it's released," she said in an interview with the Rolling Stone.

Sza at tge 65th Grammy's and Simone Biles Women's Podium Training ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Why did Sza quit gymnastics?

Eventually, the singer began to find new interests and realized she'd never make it to the Olympics, so she decided to quit the sport.

"I just started caring about boys and other things. I think, before, I was very compelled by mystery, and I'm motivated by curiosity, and seeing how far things can go. But one does have to weigh in probability. And if I can't win, then I don't play," she said to NYLON

Not that it was all about winning. Sza said she learned so much from her years of training, like the power of determination. But once she reached a certain level of mastery, the sport lost its allure. As she put it, "Once I got distracted with other things, mind over matter became super boring. I was like, "Yeah, let's do dumb sh-t, let's find boys," she explained to the outlet.

Still, the artist continues to practice headstands — as seen in her competition with Simone — and flips in her free time. "It feels good to my body. I can't explain it," she said.

Don't Miss

Watch live coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 26, on NBC and Peacock beginning at 12 p.m. ET. Telemundo will provide Spanish-language coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Primetime coverage starts at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and Peacock.

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