SZA shows off gymnastics skills in a friendly handstand contest with Simone Biles

This combination photo shows gymnast Simone Biles at the United States Gymnastics Olympic Trials June 30, 2024, in Minneapolis, left, and SZA at the iHeartRadio Music Awards April 1, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — SZA might be known for hit songs like “Kill Bill” and “Snooze," but the R&B star unveiled another impressive skill beyond music that drew high praise from gymnastics superstar Simone Biles.

The multiple Grammy winner showed off her nimble athletic abilities during a friendly handstand contest with Biles during an NBC promo spot released Monday. It was the first meeting between SZA and Biles, who secured her third trip to the Olympics after her victory at the U.S. trials Sunday night.

In the two-minute video, SZA met Biles at the gymnast's family-owned World Champions Centre training facility in Spring, Texas. As both stretched, Biles asked SZA about pivoting from gymnastics to music, the latter of which the singer called her “hidden talent.”

“When it was clear to me that I wasn't going to be a national gymnast, I was like ‘OK, let me see what else I can do and be good at,’” said SZA, who won three Grammys this year. The singer was heavily involved in gymnastics for more than a decade before she reached music stardom.

“I needed something I could be competitive at,” SZA continued.

When SZA went into her handstand, Biles thought she was practicing until the singer firmly held her stance for a few seconds.

“Oh, she's practicing. Wait, that's good,” said Biles, who applauded SZA's skills with excitement.

Both then went into their handstands at the same time. After around 15 seconds, Biles' feet dropped first to the mat, first making SZA the winner.

“That was so good,” said Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history.

SZA added: “That was so difficult.”

The video is one of the latest from NBC, which has inserted more pop culture into the network's coverage heading into the Paris Olympics that begins July 26. Some of the previous promo spots have included Cardi B, Sha’Carri Richardson, Lily Collins and Noah Lyles.

“SZA and Simone’s mutual admiration for each other’s talents provide a preview of the incredible competition in store at the Paris Olympics,” said Joseph Lee, senior vice president of creative marketing, sports and entertainment at NBCUniversal. “Their shared joy in being together shows the cultural excitement we will experience as we watch these athletes compete.”


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