The Short Of It

A Flight Attendant Thought Simone Biles Was A Child And Offered Her A Coloring Book

The seven-time Olympic medalist was boarding a plane after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

After being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Simone Biles was mistaken for a child by a fl...
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

A flight attendant apparently mistook Olympian Simone Biles, who stands at 4-foot 8-inches, for a child, offering her a coloring book as she boarded a recent United Airlines flight.

The 25-year-old Olympian and recently minted Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient had a sense of humor about it all. She shared a selfie once she made her way to her seat with the caption, “not the flight attendant trying to give me a coloring book when I board.... I said ‘no I’m good I’m 25.’”

Fortunately, another flight attendant made up for the mixup and offered Biles a mimosa. “The other flight attendant gave me a mimosas so we’re in the clear. She did ask if I was old enough to drink,” she captioned another photo on her Instagram stories with mimosa in hand.

The image of Biles quickly went viral, and many others short in stature shared their own stories of being mistaken for a child. Others pointed out that the fact that United is a former Team USA sponsor and has featured the tiny but mighty gymnast in a good amount of social media posts adds an additional layer of cringe to the awkward exchange.

Biles was flying from Washington, D.C., back to her home state of Texas after becoming the youngest person to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“Today, she adds to her medal count,” President Biden joked as he introduced Biles.

The president said that Biles was able to “turn personal pain into a greater purpose, to stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves." Biles has been a vocal advocate for mental health, foster care, and victims of sexual assault.

Biles pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 after experiencing the “twisties,” a condition where gymnasts lose their focal point while in the air and control of their body. Many lauded her decision to put her mental and physical safety over the competition. Biles also testified in the sexual assault case against USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, saying that the USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee “failed to do their jobs.”

And, on top of all that, she has a great sense of humor, even when someone mistakes her for a kid and offers a coloring book.