November 2, 2022
EP. 289 — How Did You Become An All-Around Legend? with Jordan Chiles
This week’s episode is a gymnastics EVENT! Olympic silver medalist Jordan Chiles joins Jonathan to discuss how she’s taking the sport to new heights at both the elite and collegiate levels, why she doesn’t take any wins for granted, and who’s on her playlist heading into competition days. Whether you’re a gymnastics newbie or an elite level fan like Jonathan, this one’s a winner.
One note is that we recorded this episode just before Jordan qualified for the 2022 World Gymnastics Championships. Make sure to check out the competition before it ends on November 6!
Jordan Chiles is a globally-recognized, nationally-ranked gymnast and Olympic silver medalist. With legendary basketball star Michael Jordan as her namesake, Chiles’ trajectory has, fittingly, been driven by athletic excellence. Her breakout performance at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games catapulted the athlete to a global stage. Chiles currently resides in Los Angeles and attends UCLA.
You can follow Jordan on Instagram @jordanchiles, on Twitter @ChilesJordan, and on TikTok @JordanChiles.
Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN to join the conversation.
Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.
Transcripts for each episode are available at JonathanVanNess.com.
Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our associate producer is Zahra Crim. Our editor is Andrew Carson.
Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to TheQuinCat.com.
289 — How Did You Become An All-Around Legend? with Jordan Chiles
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness and Jordan Chiles
JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to Getting Curious. I’m Jonathan Van Ness and every week, I sit down for a gorgeous conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. On today’s episode, I’m joined by Jordan Chiles where I ask her: How did you become an all-around legend? I love Jordan Chiles so much! Oh, my God. Welcome to Getting Curious, you guys. If you’re, like, driving or, like, moving and you have not had a chance to read this episode description and you don’t know who we’re interviewing yet, fucking pull over and sit the fuck down because we have one of the most iconic guests on Getting fucking Curious of all time! Literally, Olympic silver fucking medalist. Get out of our face, Jordan Chiles. How are you, Jordan?
JORDAN CHILES [00:00:43] I am amazing right now! I’m literally over here, like, in awe, I’m fangirling myself because first off, kudos to you, JVN! Honestly, literally, you’re everywhere, every single time I go down in Rodeo and all that stuff, I’m, like, “Oh my gosh! He’s just succeeding in everything.” But thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited.
JVN [00:01:04] Jordan. I’m so obsessed with you. Can I tell you the moment that I fell in love with you? Are you ready?
JORDAN CHILES [00:01:09] Okay, I’m ready.
JVN [00:01:10] I’m pretty sure it was 2017. And you were doing a wolf turn on beam and you turned this wolf turn into a literal triple pirouette. You guys. First of all, a wolf turn is, like, really hard. It’s basically, like, a squat on one leg with the other straight leg and you gotta, like, whip your little body around. And it’s really hard.
JORDAN CHILES [00:01:28] Yes. JVN [00:01:29] Like, Google “wolf turn” if you don’t know what it is. [JORDAN GIGGLES] But
what was that? What competition was that? Do you remember?
JORDAN CHILES [00:01:35] Yeah. So that was back in 2017. You’re totally right. It was during championships. And to tell you the truth, the only reason why I kept going was because the crowd. They were hyping it up to where I was, like, “Oh my gosh, I’m still going, like, ‘What’s going on?’” And then I realized what I did. And, you know, it’s an anniversary every year, but I love it.
JVN [00:01:55] I am—, that was so major. Have you ever done a triple pirouette on beam, like, on purpose?
JORDAN CHILES [00:02:01] No, after that, my coach was, like, “Hey, like we should kind of try it to get it named after you.” And I was, like, “Yeah!” But it’s like, it’s hard to keep it consistent.
JVN [00:02:11] What about a double pirouette, Jordan? I feel like you could really rock a double in your sleep. Is it just, like, not worth it? Because if you fall on it, it’s just, like, the payoff isn’t worth it?
JORDAN CHILES [00:02:20] Doing doubles, I play with them 24/7, honestly, because, like, yes, it can give you more value. But at the end of the day, like, “Do I want to risk falling? Do I want to risk the tenth here and there?” So I just keep it to the simple full turn.
JVN [00:02:34] Mm! It’s not simple and you make it look so good. Okay?
JORDAN CHILES [00:02:37] [LAUGHS] Thank you!
JVN [00:02:38] Like that extension in your toes? It’s so good, like, get out of my face. It’s so good. Okay, so I’m starting to, like, come back into my body. I’m starting to, like, feel my toes again. The first time I ever saw Laurie Hernandez. I met her in, like, 2018 and she walked into this room, like, this is how much of a fangirl of gymnastics that I am. I saw her and I almost did, like, a triple chaine walk into the wall, as if, like, a ghost, like, smacked me in the face. And I was, like, [MUFFLED HANDS OVER MOUTH] “Ah! Laurie Hernandez!” And you could even ask Simone, when we did our UberEats thing, like, I felt so bad for, like, two weeks because, like, she would be, like, “Okay, I’m going to go take a break,” and I would, like, follow her to her trailer. I’d be, like, “Well, what about this? What about that? What was your favorite thing?” Like, I just was, like, so, like, I just can’t help it, like—, have you been like that with gymnastics? Like, because you kind of started later, I feel like I read. Didn’t you start, like, later than most people?
JORDAN CHILES [00:03:22] Yes, I did. I started when I was six and a half, seven, which is very late for a gymnast. But I progressed really fast, like, really, really fast. So during that time period, between six-and-a-half and ten, I skipped two levels, six and eight. And then also I went elite when I was 11. So by the time everything was over with, I was still developing myself, like, in my brain, my body, like, everything.
JVN [00:03:47] You were elite by the time you were 11? JORDAN CHILES [00:03:250 Yes, I was. JVN [00:03:51] What skills do you have to have, like, to go elite?
JORDAN CHILES [00:03:54] So basically, first you have to go through the elite compulsory side of things and there’s routines that you have to do that are created already. So for bars you have to have a front giant and two or three circle elements. Beam, you have to have a connection series plus a front series, like, there’s just a lot. Floor? Don’t even get me started with floor. You have to have a leap, you have to have at least a connecting pass. There’s just so much, but at that age I was, like, “Oh yeah, let’s go for it. Like, why not?” And then, yeah, that happened.
JVN [00:04:35] So you’ve been elite for ten years? JORDAN CHILES [00:04:27] Yeah. JVN [00:04:28] And you’re only 21? JORDAN CHILES [00:04:30] Yep.
JVN [00:04:30] That is bonkers town. So when you were little, so okay, let’s think about that. So you were born in 2001?
JORDAN CHILES [00:04:37] Mm hmm. JVN [00:04:38] So do you remember the Athens Games, or do you remember the Beijing
JORDAN CHILES [00:04:44] I remember the Beijing Games. That was the first Olympic Games that I was, like, “You know what? I want to go to the Olympics.”
JVN [00:04:50] And can you believe that Chellsie fucking Memmel and Alicia Sacramone are literally your fucking people?! But like, we love them, so they’re, like, cool. So it’s like, better?
JORDAN CHILES [00:05:03] Yes. I was geeked, honestly, especially because I competed with Chelsea and went on tour with her.
JVN [00:05:10] I literally have the chills all over my body right now. I’m freaking out, you guys. Listeners, I’m sorry I keep interrupting.
JORDAN CHILES [00:05:16] I know, I was geeked!
JVN [00:05:17] Because you were on the Gold Over America tour with her all literal summer.
JORDAN CHILES [00:05:22] Yeah, she was like our mom because she was on my tour bus, so she was like our mom. She was, like, making us cookie dough, having so much fun with us. Honestly, I felt like she wasn’t even, like, my idol at that moment. It was, like, “Oh, we’re best
friends,” you know? [JVN SIGHS] It’s just cool now that she’s part of the USAG and all that. And, like, head coordinator, especially with Alicia when I first saw Alicia at camp, I was like, “Oh my gosh. That’s Alicia Sacramone!”
JVN [00:05:46] She is literally Alicia Sacra-fucking-mone. Like, she is, like, so major. Like, I love that girl so much. I literally do Chelsea’s like circuits on Instagram. Her, like, standing tucks, her, like, Arabian, standing full, on that laser beam. Like, it’s just so major. So you had started gymnastics and then you watched Beijing?
JORDAN CHILES [00:06:06] Yep. JVN [00:06:07] Ah!
JORDAN CHILES [00:06:08] So my mom basically, she loves the Olympics in any sport, track and field, swimming, basketball, like, whatever.
JVN [00:06:15] I love her! Me too.
JORDAN CHILES [00:06:17] Like that’s just how she is. And so that was, like, a constant thing for us. We would stay up when they started until they ended with whatever sport. And so gymnastics was a huge thing because I, I had started and then from there on there were coaches at my old gym that came and were just, like, “Is this your daughter?” And she was, like, “Yeah, this is. Like, you know, we need her to get all of her energy out because, like, she’s just a constant in the house and all that stuff.” So they were, like, “Well, we think she has potential. Like, she’s talented.” And my mom’s, like, “What?” Like, “What are you talking about? She’s just here playing, like, we need to do something.” [LAUGHS] JVN [00:06:51] Because did you just, like, walk in there when you were six-and-a-half and just like learn around round-off back handspring tuck on your first day or something?
JORDAN CHILES [00:06:56] It was a surprise. I didn’t know I was going to the gym. It was a surprise. I thought I was getting a dog.
JVN [00:07:02] Ah!
JORDAN CHILES [00:07:03] So my heart was a little broken. [JVN CHUCKLES] But then I realized, I was having a lot of fun in the classes. I think I did one rec class before I went on to team and all that stuff and then I would watch, so I’d visually learn everything. So I saw the older girls doing stuff and I would go home and teach myself.
JVN [00:07:20] So what was the first thing you remember learning?
JORDAN CHILES [00:07:23] At that time, it was like a back walkover or something. And I taught myself. I, like, started with the backbend and then I started kicking over and all that stuff. It was really cool!
JVN [00:07:33] Oh my god.
JORDAN CHILES [00:07:34] My grandma has videos of me and her in her kitchen just flipping.
JVN [00:07:37] I think I remember seeing those videos on the, like, NBC, like, montages that you’re doing, like straddle presses and stuff. Yeah. Yeah. Like, so strong. So okay this is, like, kind of a sidebar question and we’re going to go back into gymnastics and I will not allow my ADHD to take over right now. But since you said that you were, like, growing up an Olympics stan, like me too, what was like your second favorite sport? Like, what’s like the other thing you love watching if it’s not gymnastics?
JORDAN CHILES [00:07:57] Track and field, all the way. JVN [00:08:00] Oh, my God, I love track and field, too. I also like, obviously, like, kind of love
JORDAN CHILES [00:08:04] Okay, so when it comes to diving and swimming and all that stuff, like, the beauty that takes place into that is just gorgeous. Like, when I see diving, I’m just, like, “How do you, like?” My brain doesn’t wrap around it, like, at all.
JVN [00:08:19] And their ankles and toesies, like, the synchronized swimmers is–
JORDAN CHILES [00:08:21] Yes, it’s just perfect.
JVN [00:08:23] Oh, my God. I mean, so is yours, like, you, like, really, like, fluent in, like, perfect ankles and perfect, like, pointed toes? I can’t, like, don’t even get me started on your ring leaves. Like like, do not even get me fucking started, okay? So you literally just said, and I was so fucking relieved, because I just fall in love so hard during those little, like, NBC montages.
JORDAN CHILES [00:08:38] Yes.
JVN [00:08:39] Like, “Oh, my God, it’s my best friend, like, for life, even though they don’t know me.” But I feel like I know them, you know what I’m saying? Because, like, with Aly—not to namedrop—but with, like, Aly, like, when I first met her, I was, like, “What do we got to do to get to the 2020?” I never want anyone’s gymnastics career to be over. But whenever we get, like, someone who’s going back to back and, like, your back to back is just, like, “Duh this is like, so obvious.” But I’m not the one who has to go to the gym for, like, 8 hours a day. And,
like, just doing all that core working out, just like all the workouts. It’s, like, so intense. So what did go into your decision where you just, like, “Honey! Paris? I’m coming back.”
JORDAN CHILES [00:09:12] So the decision actually happened in Tokyo and it was during qualifications. Obviously, qualifications for me didn’t go as planned, but in that moment, I kind of realized how long it took me to get to this point, but how easy it was for me to realize, like, “Okay, you got this no matter what.” And so in that moment, I was like, “You know what? Might as well try again. It’s only two years from that time point.” I was just, like, “I would just be going out there doing it for myself.” Because obviously Tokyo, yes, was for myself, but that was a goal of mine just making it to the Olympics and just being able to be in that atmosphere and all that. So for ’24, literally, I’m, like, “Whatever happens, happens. I’m going to go out. Each competition I do, just have fun, be me, enjoy the moments and hopefully I’ll be on the ’24 team.” And if that’s the case, look at me! Two, make two in a row, that would be really cool!
JVN [00:10:06] You have it. You have it. I mean, if you just keep doing what you’re doing. Also, I just don’t think people realize, like, especially the 2020 team, like, four spots—like, I literally have the chills like on my triceps just even before I can even get the sentence out, like—the competition in the U.S. is so fierce. But even in 2020 it was even so much worse because, like, four spots? Like it really was just, like, so major. And you had such a hard, I mean, obviously, I think for all of us gymnastics fans watching your transformation—, I just am so in awe of, like, you. And I also think one thing I remember is, like, when Simone came back in ’18, I remember the commentator saying, like, “After you’ve had a little break, like, it’s really hard to get your skills back.” And when I saw your ass this year at Nationals, your upgrade on floor, not only did you get your skills back, but you already, like, upgraded. Can we talk about your full twist? No, it’s a double double layout or no, it’s a single–, it’s a full in layout. What’s your new what’s your new pass?
JORDAN CHILES [00:11:07] Which one? There’s so many! My second pass?
JVN [00:11: 10] It was the one Angelina Melnikova did.
JORDAN CHILES [00:11:12] The full in layout. Yeah. I actually competed that as my first pass in Tokyo. But then Laurent [Landi] was, like, “Let’s try this and see what happens and see if you can do it as your second pass.” And I was, like, “Okay, yeah, why not?” And so it came easy to me and, and that was a skill that I was able to get back easy compared to all the other ones.
JVN [00:11:31] So that wasn’t even an upgrade, Jonathan, get out of here. I’m like, so embarrassed. So you already had that. So what’s your new floor passes? What’s your new layout?
JORDAN CHILES [00:11:38] So my new floor pass that I have now, it’s my first pass: the roundoff, a one and a half roundoff, back handspring to a full in.
JVN [00:11:46] [SCREAMS] Ah! It’s so pretty! It’s very giving, like, the Aly pass. JORDAN CHILES [00:11:52] Yes!
JVN [00:11:53] It’s giving the Aly pass but it’s, like, Jordan Chiles pass, like, get out, it’s so major.
JORDAN CHILES [00:11:58] I used to do Aly’s pass. Actually. JVN [00:12:00] You did not. JORDAN CHILES [00:12:01] Yeah, I used to. JVN [00:12:03] So you have a one and a half step out. JORDAN CHILES [00:12:06] Roundoff, back handspring, double Arabian, punch out layout. JVN [00:12:08] Punch? Is the scariest pass of all time?
JORDAN CHILES [00:12:12] Personally? No only because I did Arabians all my life, like, that was the second skill I learned besides the double layout. So like I literally loved doing them. I used to have a Patterson on beam. I used to do Aly’s pass. Yeah, there was a lot of things I used to do. But, you know, as you get older…
JVN [00:12:29] Have you ever tried a dos Santos? She did, like, a laid out Double Arabian.
JORDAN CHILES [00:12:35] Oh, yes. I’ve tried it off the trampoline. I tried it before.
JVN [00:12:39] That looks, like, next level, like physics, like, insanity. So basically you’re in Tokyo and you’re, like, “I’m going to do this. I’m coming back for 2024.” So then after Tokyo, you joined UCLA because you, like, become a gorgeous Bruin.
JORDAN CHILES [00:12:55] Oh, thank you. JVN [00:12:56] And so, like, like, has that kind of helped with, like, competition nerves, do you
feel like? Like, how has it impacted your training? Like, the collegiate career.
JORDAN CHILES [00:13:04] NCAA is all about energy, it’s all about team. It’s all about just going out there and enjoying every last thing you can because it’s an atmosphere that you will never forget. And being able just to incorporate that into the competitions and into practice, I would have to say has definitely helped. I’ve been able just to go into practice and be, like, “Okay, guys, like, so how’s everybody doing? Like what’s what’s the plan like? Let’s get the
music on. Like, let’s just keep it going.” And it’s helped a lot mentally and physically as well because then you get to enjoy doing your sport even more. And so I’m just, you know, taking that collegiate world and back into the elite world is definitely a huge thing. I feel like it should be a common thing and always a thing.
JVN [00:13:48] Well, I feel like you guys are really making it moreso. Like, I definitely feel like when I was growing up it was more of a thing of, like, once someone stopped doing elite, they would, like, go to NCAA and then they just kind of, like stayed there, they were still really good, but it was, like—, and then, like, Mykayla Skinner, like, changed that which we love that. And also like Trinity Thomas, I feel like also did that. Like she was like going between both, so good. I’m still, like, holding out a candle for her, like, return, I really need to see that double layout just, like, getting its life.
JORDAN CHILES [00:14:13] It’s gorgeous. Gorgeous. JVN [00:14:15] It’s so good, and also, wait, ’cause she has that one skill that’s, like, no, that’s
Shilese! She has that one skill– JORDAN CHILES [00:14:22] Oh yeah.
JVN [00:14:23] –That’s, like, it would be the Jones if she can get. That’s cool. What is it? It’s like a double Arabian and, like, something else—, or what, I can’t—
JORDAN CHILES [00:14:29] It’s a full and a half. So it’s a one and a half. Yeah, I don’t know how she does it. I would get lost, I’d, yeah—, “Nope!”
JVN [00:14:36] You just got to, like, stop. JORDAN CHILES [00:14:37] Yeah, you just stop! JVN [00:14:38] Like, you just stop mid twist. So you land forward? JORDAN CHILES [00:14:42] Mm hmm.
JVN [00:14:28] Wow. Queen. Okay, enough about that. We’re going back to you. So how has it been, like, physicality wise? Like, I know NCAA routines are, like, they’re a little bit shorter. It’s, like, less skills that you need to hit. So when you started training for Elite again, were you, like, “Ow,” or was it okay? [JORDAN LAUGHS] JORDAN CHILES [00:14:58] For bars, it was a little easier because I had kept the second part of my routine in NCAA. So those skills, it was easy for me to get. Beam. It was a little easier because I was able to play around. Probably floor and vault were a little, I wouldn’t say hard but, like, harder than the other two. But honestly, like, I just had fun. I had to just really
remember, “Okay, you’re, you’re going to be doing two-a-days, you’re going to be a little more sore.” And so I just kind of went in there with the mindset of understanding that and then being able to be, like, “Okay, I’m putting my foot down and this is what I want to do,” because you can’t just go in at 50-50, you have to either going it the whole thing or not at all. So that’s what I did. I was, like, “Going in! All the way.” [LAUGHTER] JVN [00:15:48] So, okay, I’m just writing down floor, bars, vault, beam. Okay. So as we approach Worlds, I literally just downloaded that app.
JORDAN CHILES [00:15:57] Flip now!
JVN [00:15:58] I will be watching. I am, like, so fucking ready. This is primetime fucking television. I can’t even watch Instagram until I know, like, I can’t, even I can’t even open my Instagram because if it gets spoilered for me, like, I will literally like my, like, my whole month is ruined. [JORDAN LAUGHS] Okay, so let’s talk about vault because obviously you can do a double Yurchenko in your literal sleep. Do you ever get compete vault, too? I feel like I’ve seen you do it because I’ve seen you do your other one at NCAA. That’s why I’ve seen that.
JORDAN CHILES [00:16:26] Yes, I can do three different vaults.
JVN [00:16:29] In NCAA, you do, like, that one. It’s, like, a round off on to the…board?
JORDAN CHILES [00:16:35] The tables. Yes. It’s called a Tsukahara.
JVN [00:16:38] I love a Tsukahara! Yeah, I know a Tsuk, yes, a Tsukahara. Of course, I’m writing it down. Okay, so you have that one and then what else?
JORDAN CHILES [00:16:46] And then I have the half on, half off.
JVN [00:16:49] Mmm. Ah! Not to be, like, this basic bitch who I’m sure people ask you about this, but like, do we ever fucks with Amânars or do we just like not really want to do that to our knees because it’s like we only want to hurt our knees like that? ‘Cause it’s, like, ouchy or, like, do we do them? Like, what’s the deal?
JORDAN CHILES [00:17:05] I can do Amânars, yes, 100%. Actually, the year of the Olympics, I was training it, but there was no need for me to train it because we had people who did vault. But prior to that, I’ve done Amânars since 2014 all the way to 2017.
JVN [00:17:23] Did you ever do one at, like, Visa or P&G or something? JORDAN CHILES [00:17:26] Mhm!
JVN [00:17:27] So I need to go back, okay. Okay, so let’s think about this: five spots, we’re obviously winning. However, at the same time, I have a whole set in my, like, comedy routine about this, Jordan.
JORDAN CHILES [00:17:38] Okay.
JVN [00:17:38] I feel like I learned a lot, like, in this last Olympic cycle because I did realize that, like, I kind of was not a good person when it came to cheering for gymnastics because, like, if you weren’t American, I kind of just, like, wasn’t having it except for like three people. Like there was like three other people who I liked just cause I liked their gymnastics. But really, like, if you weren’t Team USA, I was kind of just, like, “Get out of my face. It’s like, those are my best friends and like they’re going to fucking like we’re winning because like, we’re going to win, so get out of my face.” [JORDAN LAUGHS] So, like, Obviously, Jade has her Amânar.
JORDAN CHILES [00:18:09] Yes. JVN [00:18:10] Jade has her Amânar. JORDAN CHILES [00:18:12] Yes. That’s it.
JVN [00:18:14] Simon has her Amânar. If she, if she comes, you know, I know she’s thinking, you know, she said so. But in qualifications in each event, don’t they still just have four per event? And then it’s, like, four compete and then you get to drop your one score in qualifications. Or if there’s five on the team, will all five go in each one?
JORDAN CHILES [00:18:32] I think all five. So for us all, all four went, but only three scores counted.
JVN [00:18:40] Right. JORDAN CHILES [00:18:40] So all five can go and four will count. JVN [00:18:44] Oh, four will count? JORDAN CHILES [00:18:45] Yeah. I’m pretty sure that’s how works. I think four will count.
JVN [00:18:49] Oh! Okay, hot. So. Okay, so let’s think about that. So basically, you maybe don’t need to. Probably not. And we need to protect your knees, because it’s also not all about team. It’s also about that all-around, you know? And I know because all of these, like, because we gotta keep those knees healthy, honey. You gotta get that ass in all arounds. Because I am. Okay. So. Okay. So we’re kind of, like, the jury’s out on that. But do you have your Chang? Do you have a Chang or is that, like, a Tsukahara with an extra twist or something?
JORDAN CHILES [00:19:15] No. The Chang is like the half on. JVN [00:19:18] Yes. JORDAN CHILES [00:19:18] But instead of a half off, you do a one and a half off. JVN [00:19:22] Damn.
JORDAN CHILES [00:19:24] Though, actually, fun fact: I did that vault during quarantine before [JVN GASPS] the whole United States went on lockdown, you know? [JORDAN LAUGHS] Before mid-life crises were happening, all that. So we’re going to start, hopefully— I’m crossing my fingers, like, in college and stuff that I’ll start working on it. So then by ’24 and all that, I’ll have it.
JVN [00:19:44] What was that like? You’re training, you and Simone, you’re just like, “Oh my God, best friend’s club. We’re doing it. We’re fucking going to the Olympics in, like, two months. Like we’re totally going to fucking like, we’re going to fucking do this in our fucking sleep.” And then COVID. Lockdown. Postponement. Were you just, like, “Fuck me,” or were you, like, “It’s okay. I’m, like, really young and like, my knees will be fine.” No it wasn’t that?
JORDAN CHILES [00:20:08] No, it wasn’t that I was going through it. Because at that time I also had to decide whether or not I was going to college or not. But then I was also dealing with coach situations on that end in my college.
JVN [00:20:18] Oh, yes.
JORDAN CHILES [00:20:20] He was saying all these things. And then it was just, like, “What do I do?” It was stressful. That was a stressful moment because also we couldn’t go outside, so I couldn’t just be, like, “Okay, let me just go walk my thoughts off.” Like, I had to be in my house trying to figure out everything. But then, you know, really wanted to tell myself, like, “You got this. Just go for it. Go in or go home.” Like, that’s basically what I tell myself.
JVN [00:20:42] If you had to describe yourself in, like, three words, what would it be? JORDAN CHILES [00:20:48] Oh! I’m bubbly. JVN [00:20:52] Ah! And? JORDAN CHILES [00:20:55] I’m outgoing. And I feel like I can say I’m very dedicated. JVN [00:21:03] Ah. You know what I wrote down?
JORDAN CHILES [00:21:05] What? JVN [00:21:06] Resilient. JORDAN CHILES [00:21:08] Awww! JVN [00:21:08] I think you are one of the strongest people. I mean, that is just. Wow. JORDAN CHILES [00:21:1] Aw, thank you.
JVN [00:21:17] Person to person, like, I am just so in awe of you. And you are so, so wise beyond your years.
JORDAN CHILES [00:21:24] Aw, thank you.
JVN [00:21:24] Like, I can just feel it, I see it, and I am just beyond, like, I actually like I just have chills again, like, I’m just so in awe of you. Okay, so for floor, what’s our other upgrades because you were, like, “Which one?” So you have your one and a half coming into your full in. What other upgrade did we make?
JORDAN CHILES [00:21:38] I have double double.
JVN [00:21:25] Oh, fuck. Did I see that? At Nationals?
JORDAN CHILES [00:21:42] No, I haven’t competed it.
JVN [00:21:46] Oh, my God. That just made me have really intense chills. And you got a Moors on floor.
JORDAN CHILES [00:21:51] Yeah, yeah. [LAUGHS] JVN [00:21:55] These people aren’t even, they are not even ready. They are not even ready for you. Are you kind of excited to just, like, lay it out on them? Like, are people going to be a little shook?
JORDAN CHILES [00:22:04] Honestly, I think they might be. They’ve seen me practice it, like, I’ll post a video. But I think, I think it might be a little, you know, ball drop on them.
JVN [00:22:14] I think so, too. So then vault, we’re going to stick with our double, we’re maybe going to start working Changs, which would be exciting. So then for beam, I’m trying to think about National’s beam. Everything was really looking solid. What about our dismount, are you going to bring that full in back?
JORDAN CHILES [00:22:32] Yes.
JVN [00:22:3] Are we just to go with it? Yes. Because you’ve got that! [JORDAN LAUGHS] You know what I was thinking about after? Because when you did that one, like, step forward that we had on our—I’m not going to be codependent. That one step forward that you had, it’s fine. But when that happened, is it, like, way different competing, like, in your gym versus, like, because I would imagine, like, that feels different, like, being up on a podium under the lights. Or does it feel similar?
JORDAN CHILES [00:22:55] That’s why we have podium training, so we can get used to the lighting and all that, because obviously doing it in your own gym is different. So I do have to say yes, at first, it’s, like, “Ooh, my eyes! It’s bright,” but after a while we get used to it. But I’ve been doing it for so long now that I’m just, like, “Oh, I know there’s lights there,” but the new girls always are, like, “It’s so bright!” I’m, like, “You’ll get used to it, don’t worry.”
JVN [00:23:17] I bet going on that, like, Gold Over America Tour was, like, really helpful, too. Like, just, like, big crowds, loud, noisy, like, different lighting scenarios, like, you’d be ready for anything now.
JORDAN CHILES [00:23:27] Literally, tour. Honestly, when we first did it, like, just our run through, through the whole thing without, like, audience and all that, I was like, “This is a lot of lighting. How are they going to know what cue to do? Like, what’s going?” It was crazy, but definitely being on tour helped with a lot of the lighting situations.
JVN [00:23:46] Okay. And then back to the beam. You casually said that you had a Patterson, which, it took me like 3 minutes to literally remember that that’s, like, a fucking double Arabian off beam. So you had that and then, like, like, what happened?
JORDAN CHILES [00:23:59] It’s mostly because, like, at the end of your beam routine, you’re tired.
JVN [00:24:03] So tired.
JORDAN CHILES [00:24:03] And it’s, like, one wrong move or landing, like it can really mess up your knees. That’s another thing that can mess up your knees. So we kind of just don’t mess with that skill anymore. I mean, obviously, like, if I, like, did it in practice or something, yeah, I would do it, but competing it probably not.
JVN [00:24:22] So we talked about floor. We just talked about beam. We talk about vault. What about bars, are we doing, like, any new stuff over there?
JORDAN CHILES [00:24:29] I mean, I’ve talked to Laurent about different things. I’ve told him about a Ezhova, I’ve told him about Nabievas, I’ve told him about a bunch of things. It’s just,
like, timing wise, you know, bars is, like, you have to be consistent with that skill before you actually put it into a routine. So, yeah, we’re going to play around with some things. Who knows? I might come out with a crazy bar routine.
JVN [00:24:51] What’s that thing you do, it’s, like, almost like a Barani, and you do it on, like, the high bar, like between the low bar and the high bar?
JORDAN CHILES [00:24:57] Oh a Gienger? JVN [00:24:58] Yes! JORDAN CHILES [00:25:00] Yeah.
JVN [00:25:01] Your Gienger on the high bar? Like, towards the low bar is, like, [JORDAN LAUGHS] It’s so major. Is there a skill on any event that, like, every time you’re just like, “[GROANS], like, I don’t like that thing.”
JORDAN CHILES [00:25:14] I would probably have to say on bars, Jaegers. I don’t like Jaegers. They’re not my cup of tea.
JVN [00:25:21] Is that like the straddle? JORDAN CHILES [00:25:22] Yeah and you, like, go in the front giant grip and yeah.
JVN [00:25:26] Ugh, hate it. [CROSSTALK] Like, cause like if you go too far away, it’s like belly flop central.
JORDAN CHILES [00:25:31] Yeah. [JORDAN LAUGHS] JVN [00:25:33] So, like, not to compare your career to my gymnastics career. However! I do gymnastics at, like, the beginning of my tour. If I’m on tour, like, my coach is always, like, “Can we not practice our full twisting layouts into the pit or, like, our halfs? Like, because, like, I just don’t want you to get hurt and like, I need you to be able to do your skills for, like, the routines. Like, let’s not be risky,” like, so for you, like, when you’re, like, headed for worlds or, like, headed towards, like, Olympics season.
JORDAN CHILES [00:25:59] Mhm.
JVN [00:26:00] Will you ever be, like, “I want to try that the Nabieva,” “I want to work my Amânars,” but will coach to be like “No queen. Like, it’s just, like, a little bit too close to like Worlds, we’re not going to do, like, risky stuff. Like, we’re just going to stick with your normal stuff.”
JORDAN CHILES [00:26:11] Well, sometimes it’s, like, if you’re consistent with it leading up to that moment, honestly, he will sometimes just be, like, “You can try it.” But he might also really think about, “Is it worth it?” Everything that we do is: is it worth it? Is it worth risking an injury? Is it worth risking a tenth here or there? You know, like, that’s kind of how his brain works even with Cecile [Landi]. Like, that’s just how the brain works because there’s a lot of skills that we can put into our routine. But then also think of, “We need the execution, the difficulty and making sure the score comes out right, especially because it’s a team event,” like, in Paris, I did two different floor routines. I didn’t do the same floor routine.
JVN [00:26:52] Oh, really? Just at the World Cup, just, like, a second ago?
JORDAN CHILES [00:26:55] Yes, on day one for qualifications, I did just a double layout my second pass, but since I’ve done full in layouts for so long, he asked me on finals day, like, “Do you want to do it?” And I was, like, “Yeah, sure, why not?” Because he trusted me that I was able to do it. So it, it also comes down to the trust aspect of things as well.
JVN [00:27:15] And then you won that floor?
JORDAN CHILES [00:27:17] Yes, I did.
JVN [00:27:18] You won the fuck out of that floor. Yeah. Yeah. I was just, like, “Yeah, you won the fuck out of that floor final.” Okay. So then obviously, like, I’m really patriotic about gymnastics and figure skating. Like, actually really any Olympic sport, I actually have this problem. I think it’s cause I’m obsessed with the Olympics, too. Like I’m, like, giving, like, your mom vibes? and I just don’t watch football or, like, soccer or, like, any other sport. So except for tennis. So I just get a little competitive. So it’s, like, fine. So but for this year, obviously, like, we’re obsessed with Shilese, we’re obsessed with Jade, we’re obsessed with you. Who else are we obsessed with? Because Connor’s literally fucking injured, fuck me! Who else do we need to keep our eyes on that’s, like, kind of fierce. It’s, like, who are, like, the up and comers who we, like, need to know about?
JORDAN CHILES [00:28:01] We have Addison Fatta.
JVN [00:28:05] [GASPS] Yes.
JORDAN CHILES [00:28:06] Really good when they went to their Hungary World Cup. She’s really good. She’s gorgeous as well. We have another girl who went, Keko—Katelyn Jong. She did really well. Obviously, Leanne, she’s a Florida Gator.
JVN [00:28:19] Ohmigod, how could I forget? I’m just really ashamed of myself for that. It was just. [SHUDDERS] Yeah, so gross of me. Get out of here, that triple twist—, I am so ashamed. I did not like that. I think that was the really pretty triple twist on floor. Her triple twist was, like, super next level.
JORDAN CHILES [00:28:35] Literally, like, just [BUZZES] like a full torpedo. That’s what she looks like. It’s beautiful.
JVN [00:28:43] Okay, so you know how they say that? Like, you’re, like, like, you’re either more naturally inclined towards, like, flipping or twisting?
JORDAN CHILES [00:28:48] Yes.
JVN [00:28:49] Have you ever heard that? Which one do you feel like you’re just? Are you?
JORDAN CHILES [00:28:51] I can do both.
JVN [00:28:53] Bitch, you’re like, “I’m a fucking Olympian, okay?”
JORDAN CHILES [00:28:55] I– [LAUGHS] No, that’s not what it is!
JVN [00:28:58] No, it’s true! That’s what the sentiment is, I’m actually, like, “I do both. Sorry.” Like, um, sorry. Have you ever worked, like, a three and a half into the pit?
JORDAN CHILES [00:29:08] No, I used to do it on the floor. [JVN GASPS] JVN [00:29:10] And you landed them?
JORDAN CHILES [00:29:12] Yeah, I wish I had videos, but when I was younger, twisting was actually the first thing that I learned before flipping.
JVN [00:29:17] It was?!
JORDAN CHILES [00:29:18] Yeah.
JVN [00:29:19] So that just came more naturally to you?
JORDAN CHILES [00:29:21] Yeah.
JVN [00:29:22] What about front twisting?
JORDAN CHILES [00:29:24] I used to have a front triple.
JVN [00:29:26] Ah! You know what my favorite front pass is? I got obsessed with it from Laurie Hernandez in Rio, obviously. Her punch, lay out, front—
JORDAN CHILES [00:29:34] —Double full front tuck?
JVN [00:29:36] Yes! Punch front. Ah!
JORDAN CHILES [00:29:39] Gorgeous.
JVN [00:29:40] Can we resurrect that? I need that on Team USA again, like, do we need to, like, maybe just, like, punch that into the pit a few times, like, maybe bring her back for 2023? You know what I’m saying? Have you ever thought about that pass?
JORDAN CHILES [00:29:51] Well, I used to do a front double full front full.
JVN [00:29:55] Oh, bitch, you’re, like, “I’m a little bit more advanced than that.” I’m sorry, like.
JORDAN CHILES [00:29:59] That’s what I used to do. That’s what I used to do.
JVN [00:30:00] What’s your front connecting pass now?
JORDAN CHILES [00:30:03] I go front layout to double tuck, like, backwards.
JVN [00:30:06] You do a front…
JORDAN CHILES [00:30:07] So front run, punch firmly out. Round off back handspring. Double tuck.
JVN [00:30:11] Yes! Oh, yeah. You do that. And that’s so pretty. That is so pretty. JORDAN CHILES [00:30:14] Aw, thank you.
JVN [00:30:15] You don’t have to do, like, a connecting front pass? That, that’s just, like, for people that, like, like front tumbling.
JORDAN CHILES [00:30:20] Yes and no. So as long as you have a front skill in your routine, because that’s a requirement, then you are perfectly fine. Last year I did front double full front full because it got me more tense and it was easy for me to do. And then this year I’m only doing three passes, so I’m just doing a front layout to double tuck.
JVN [00:30:41] Oh, I’m so curious about that. Jordan I notice that sometimes because like sometimes like people go between three and four, like. Do you lose a lot for not doing the fourth or does it not really matter if you have, like, more dance elements and stuff?
JORDAN CHILES [00:30:52] Ah, not really in the new code of points. It’s kind of, like, the fourth pass is just the fourth pass. Like, if you can do three solid passes plus you have your leaps and turns and you’ll get a pretty decent score.
JVN [00:31:05] Is the new code of points every four years or every year?
JORDAN CHILES [00:30:08] Yes, every four years.
JVN [00:31:09] Every four. God, that’s like a lot to, like, have to keep up with that.
JORDAN CHILES [00:31:13] It is, especially knowing that I’ve been through 2012, 2016 and then 2020. So I’ve been through three different quads.
JVN [00:31:21] Oh, I’m so proud of you. You literally, like, you are just, I mean, you really, you worked so hard to get there, so, okay, let’s picture it. It’s about to be Worlds. It’s about to be qualifications. Is there just, like, any, like, little like pre- like ritual things that you do, like, certain, like music you gotta listen to, take a bath, honey. Do you like to watch South Park? I don’t know who says South Park. Oh, my God. I can’t help it, but like, what do you do? Like, before a competition?
JORDAN CHILES [00:31:48] So I kind of have a jam out session. That’s what I do. I have a full blown jam out session while I’m doing my hair and makeup. I get my Beats Pill, and I literally am just jamming out to any song that I… will get me hyped.
JVN [00:32:02] Who are you obsessed with right now? Music wise. JORDAN CHILES [00:32:04] Oh, music wise? First off, can we just give kudos to Megan Thee
Stallion’s SNL performance?
JVN [00:32:11] [SNAPS] Snaps all around. She just, I just, I get. Literally her album, her new album is just beginning to end. It’s a journey. I love it. There’s no skip songs. I just, I love her so much.
JORDAN CHILES [00:32:21] Yes! Love her, love her. I want to meet her one day. Like, that’s just my goal.
JVN [00:32:25] How have you not met her already?
JORDAN CHILES [00:32:27] I don’t–, don’t ask. I don’t know.
JVN [00:32:31] Ask! Come on, Megan! Ask! She’s literally one of the foremost American gymnasts, just get out of here! Come on Megan Thee Stallion, if someone’s listening – I don’t know who would be listening from her team, but like you need to be more vocal about that Jordan. She’d, like, literally have you, like, backstage all the time, like, she probably would like you could, like, totally be one of her hotties.
JORDAN CHILES [00:32:48] Oh, if I was an H-town hottie. Okay, Miss Tina Snow! JVN [00:32:52] Come on. It’s, like, time! [BOTH LAUGH] JORDAN CHILES [00:32:57] Anyways, but besides Megan, I mean, I listen to Normani all the time. She’s my favorite artist, like, literally.
JVN [00:33:04] She’s so good.
JORDAN CHILES [00:33:05] ] Like, first off, she’s gorgeous. Literally stunning. But honestly, like any R&B artist, like from Summer Walker to Kehlani to SZA to H.E.R. to Ella Mai. Literally anybody. I mean, Doja Cat.
JVN [00:33:24] Were you into Renaissance this summer?
JORDAN CHILES [00:33:26] Okay, Queen Bey! Okay, Queen Bey!
JVN [00:33:28] Were you living? You loved.
JORDAN CHILES [00:33:30] I needed Renaissance to be on repeat!
JVN [00:33:32] It was so good. And also I was really into Lizzo’s album, Special, was really good.
JORDAN CHILES [00:33:36] Lizzo! She’s having a concert. I won’t be here.
JVN [00:33:40] Duh, ’cause you’re going to be, like, “I’m going to be at Worlds.” Sorry, get out of here. Literally going to be at Worlds. Okay, so you do a little jam out session. Do you get nervous, like, because at podium training, do you see the other teams?
JORDAN CHILES [00:33:52] Yes. During podium training, yes, we do. We see the other teams because that’s kind of like the time where everybody has the opportunity to touch the equipment before we actually compete on it, which is really good. I love when they do that. We get to see the other teams. Obviously everybody does something different because we’re not all the same person. So do, you know, whatever and kind of just it’s a get in, get out. It’s a very short period of time.
JVN [00:34:17] Are you, like, watching other people or are you, like, kind of just really focused on your own stuff?
JORDAN CHILES [00:34:22] I sometimes like to watch, but most of the time I kind of just focus on myself because I want to make sure that I’m, like, in the zone, even though it’s just a
practice. But I still want to be able to be, like, “If this was like a competition, like, let’s just stay in the zone and kind of just go for it from there.”
JVN [00:34:37] Okay, I love that. Okay, so, Olympics, is there anything that you’re thinking about where you’re like, “Okay, maybe not like for ’22 or ’23, but, like, by 24,” like, is that more, like, Chang status, like, what are your goals for, like, Worlds and Olympics? Or do you not like saying because you’re like, I don’t want to, like, exactly say or do you love setting it?
JORDAN CHILES [00:34:52] No I love setting goals because I feel like that gives you more of a motivation going into that competition, whether it’s a close or far away goal. You have goals inside a goal. So like you have the little goals before the big goal. So Worlds and Championships and all that are little goals. And the goals that I set for myself this year was obviously Championships and then getting a World Cup and now Worlds. So for Worlds I just want to make the team. I never made a Worlds team ever in my life and honestly if that–, that’s a huge thing already. So then obviously getting a medal there would be even better whether it’s I don’t whether it’s a silver, a bronze, a gold, like whatever it is, I just want to be able to go out there and compete and just enjoy, enjoy the moment.
JVN [00:35:35] Oh, my God, you’re so gonna do that! You’re so gonna do that. Like, I, I, ah! And how are you going to do, like, UCLA? Like, will you just kind of train with the Bruins during school and then train with, like, the Texas team when you’re in Texas?
JORDAN CHILES [00:35:48] Yeah. So I literally get back to L.A. a week after I get back from Worlds. I have, like, a bunch of stuff that’s lined up and then I have to start training with the team so I can do the NCAA season all the way until April, and then I’ll head back to Texas around May, June, and then from that time period I’ll stay all the way through ’24. So I’ll be in Texas from June of ’23 all the way through ‘24.
JVN [00:36:17] Oh so, like, that means really you have to take a little, like, year off school, just, like, “We’re going to focus on Paris.”
JORDAN CHILES [00:36:22] Yes. JVN [00:36:23] Yeah. I love it. Honey, it’s, like, we’re prioritizing, like, I’m obsessed. So then in
college, gonna be a sophomore. JORDAN CHILES [00:36:28] Yes.
JVN [00:36:29] Do you know what you want to, like, major in and stuff? Have we made that decision?
JORDAN CHILES [00:36:32] What I’m focusing on right now is either business/econ or just, like, business management. I used to have my own business of my own. It was a clothing brand
and all that. But I always tell people when they’re, like, “Why business?” It’s a better opportunity. You get to do more with it. Obviously, you can be your own boss, you can be your own manager, if you want, at that point, like your own employee, you can just explore and do whatever you want. And then hopefully real estate. That’s what I really want to do is go into real estate.
JVN [00:36:57] I am so here for Jordan Chiles Real Estate. And, like, honey, I may just, like, sell my house. Just like when you get your real estate license I will literally. Like, you come over here, you’ll be, like, or tell me where you are, and I will, like, just get something there that I can afford, honey, because, like, I want you to be my real estate agent yester fucking day. Literally yesterday!
JORDAN CHILES [00:37:14] Aww. I really want to do real estate so bad, like. And plus my mom, she does interior designing. She doesn’t tell anybody, but she redid the whole inside of our house, like, when I mean, it looked like we were in Bel Air. We don’t live in Bel Air!
JVN [00:37:29] Oh my god. That warms my queer heart so much, like, I love it when someone’s, like, impressed with their mom. Like, I love my mom. [CROSSTALK] JORDAN CHILES [00:37:36] Oh, I love her.
JVN [00:37:37] So cute. I love it so much. Okay, wait, so then I only have, like, two more like question-questions and then it’s like Rapid Fire, and then you’re out of here clean, like, after practice, like, you’re doing so good. So, okay, so, like, you were saying earlier, like, the three like quads, like, you’re 21. Gymnastics has gone through so much. And I mean, what I write about in my book, Over The Top, how, like, I’m a survivor of a lot of things that I write about in my book and I talk a lot about how, like, some of our grief can live right next to our, like, most happy joys. Like some of our highest highs and our lowest lows can, like, live next to each other. And that doesn’t have to, like, invalidate each other. I can’t imagine my little, like, round off full twisting ass, like, what, like, literal elite level gymnasts, like, go through. And so I’m just curious, like, how has your relationship evolved to gymnastics throughout your career?
JORDAN CHILES [00:38:30] I love this sport. Like, when I was younger, I just thought it was something that was, “Oh, this is fun. I’m flipping. I feel like I’m a superhero. Competing. Cool. I get to win medals,” you know, because I’m a, I’m a competitive girl. And then it turned into what was really happening. And then that’s when I found out that I was um I was verbally abused, mentally abused in many different ways to where I kind of stopped gymnastics. So in 2018, I told myself that I didn’t want to do the sport anymore, and I just stopped doing gym and all this stuff and it just wasn’t right. I didn’t feel like the sport wanted me in a way. And so that’s when I really, like, found those people who could help me and support me, and my, my true friends in that moment as well. And then after that, like, being able to move into a position I am now. Like, I’m in love with this sport. Like, honestly, I’ll wake up and be, like, “Look, I’m ready to go to gym, I’m ready to work new skills or whatever.” But I had to learn
that at a young age and that’s with anybody. Like in general. I feel, like, it’s, it’s just a life lesson that I learned with—honestly, and it can be for your podcast, it can be for a movie or whatever. Like you go through a life lesson before you finally truly feel what you need to feel. And you get to experience what you need to experience.
JVN [00:39:53] That’s so powerful. It’s, like, finding the people who support you and then finding your passion again.
JORDAN CHILES [00:40:00] Yes. JVN [00:40:01] What was that like? Like, just a pandemic Olympics. Like, no people in the
crowds. Like, were you just, like shitting your pants every time you had to take a test?
JORDAN CHILES [00:40:08] Mhhm.
JVN [00:40:09] Was that part of wanting to come back to 2024? Because you were like, “I want to do it with, like,” Not to diminish people who, like, that was their only Olympics, but, like, I was really feeling for y’all because I was just like, I’m not an Olympian, but I am a performer. And I did, like, some COVID shows where it was, like, 20% capacity, and it’s just, like, it really is like such different energy.
JORDAN CHILES [00:40:27] Yes. The energy, the dynamic of what happens, the experience is all different. But I can tell you, I wouldn’t change the world for what happened, because obviously I wouldn’t be in the position I am right now. But that was another piece of wanting to go back to ’24 because I did want to experience a little more. At least going to go watch a different sport, you know.
JVN [00:40:47] Yes.
JORDAN CHILES [00:40:48] Or just being able to interact with people not with masks on, you know, like, just being able to feel the same joy throughout everybody instead of trying to worry, “Oh no, like, do they have COVID or not?”
JVN 00:40:59] Yes.
JORDAN CHILES [00:41:00] So that’s just the way it was interesting. It was very interesting. But I feel like, you know. That’s when people really realize when you’re having a crowd as an athlete, as a gymnast in general, you get the most energy, you get the easiest way to be able to perform. And that’s where it was another thing, people were just, like, “They’re not performing the same or,” you know, like, I’m not trying to put anybody out there, but, like, that’s just what was happening. And it’s, like, “You guys don’t understand. We can’t perform without somebody giving us that energy,” because we only have so much energy that we can put out in our performances.
JVN [00:41:37] Not to mention just, like, that added layer of, like, no friends, no family, like, I’m sure you like, it’s, like, do you even leave your, like, little place to, like, eat? I just was thinking, like, and especially like, like just like the whole event finals. Like, I was literally just, like, “Oh, god, just let them stay, okay?” Like, I was just, and, honestly, the entire time, like, for everybody, I was just like, “Oh my God.” But also being a major Olympics stan, I was, like, “Please,” like I actually had to turn the alerts off of my Apple News, when they were like, “Are they going to cancel the Olympics or not?” So I was going to cancel it like I’m going to like and I’m not even going. But like I just so emotionally inv–, I was, like, I needed games. So basically it was fierce, but it was a lot. But you literally won an Olympic fucking silver medal. And in the iconic words of Michelle Kwan, “I won an Olympic silver medal.” Like, people just don’t get to say that, like, that’s such a major, beautiful. Do you just, like, look at it and, like, “Wow.” Like, do you ever just, like, look at it and just, like, love it still?
JORDAN CHILES [00:42:37] Yeah. I still have those moments where I’m, like, “Wow, I’m an Olympian.” Like, it still gets me every time. But also when I do look at my medal, it kind of reminds me of, like, what I’ve gone through to get to this point. So I think of it as like my shield. That’s my shield, that’s everything that I will be able to be, like, “No, like this is what brought me to the place I am with my sweat, my tears, my aches, my pains, my coaching situations and all of that. So I look at it and I remind myself, like, “You wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for what you went through.” So I enjoy it. I cry sometimes still. But you know. [LAUGHS] JVN [00:43:14] You just can’t prepare someone for what you went through there. And I just really, like, my hat just comes off to you so hardcore, like, so hardcore.
JORDAN CHILES [00:43:29] Thank you, thank you.
JVN [00:43:30] And there’s really nothing in your life that you’re ever, like, you’re going to be, like, an unshakable person, like, forever, like, ain’t shit ever going to fucking rattle Jordan fucking Chiles. Okay, like, so just get that through your fucking head. Okay, so we have a really quick rapid fire. Are you ready?
JORDAN CHILES [00:43:46] Okay. Yes. JVN [00:43:48] Favorite gymnast of all time? JORDAN CHILES [00:43:50] Simone. JVN [00:43:51] Oh, my God. What about, like, from pre-2008? JORDAN CHILES [00:43:55] Dominique Dawes.
JVN [00:43:57] [GASPS] Fuck yes! You better fucking. Yes, Dominique Dawes, honey! She—, I love her so much. Oh, my God, I love her. Have you seen the 1996 women’s team final on YouTube?
JORDAN CHILES [00:44:11] Yes. JVN [00:44:12] Oh, my God. I love that you’ve seen it. Oh, that makes me so happy! Have you
ever seen ’92? Because that’s the first time that our team won a medal? We won bronze.
JORDAN CHILES [00:44:22] Yeah.
JVN [00:44:23] Oh, it’s so good. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. What’s your–, just calm down. Okay. I just love Dominique so fucking much. I just love when the children know, like, a good, you know what I’m saying? Like, [BIG SIGH] her floor pass on beam. Get out of my face. Okay. Okay. What about your dream skill? Like, dream skill for yourself.
JORDAN CHILES [00:44:44] [EXHALES] Dream skill? A Chang on vault. JVN [00:44:49] Ah! And then what about, like, your favorite skill of somebody else’s to see?
JORDAN CHILES [00:44:53] Oh, somebody else’s? Probably The Black, actually. Ellie Black just got her first skill.
JVN [00:45:01] What is it?
JORDAN CHILES [00:45:02] It’s a– okay. It’s a free hip Tkatchev but you catch like this.
JVN [00:45:07] Oh, I saw that! I saw that, I saw that! And that’ll get to be hers because it was that a world thing, even though it wasn’t, like, Worlds? Okay, wait. Can I just say sidebar, Ellie Black is like, one of, like, the only, like, non-Americans who I’m like a little bit obsessed with. Like, I kind of just, like, I really love her. She just, she’s, like, really nice, right?
JORDAN CHILES [00:45:22] Yes. JVN [00:45:23] What about your favorite competition look that you’ve ever rocked, was it your
Superwoman? JORDAN CHILES [00:45:27] Yeah, I was going to say my Wonder Woman one.
JVN [00:45:30] I love your Wonder Woman look and then favorite Olympic sport aside from your own or track and field? Because I already asked you that.
JORDAN CHILES [00:45:36] Skateboarding.
JVN [00:45:38] Oh, okay. [SNAPS] Love that. Okay, love that. And then what’s your favorite thing to do outside of gymnastics?
JORDAN CHILES [00:45:44] Retail therapy. Shopping! JVN [00:45:46] Oh, my God. Who’s your favorite? Like, what’s your favorite thing? Is it a bag?
Is it a shoe? Like, who’s your favorite?
JORDAN CHILES [00:45:50] It’s a shoe!
JVN [00:45:52] You know, who’s your favorite? Like, what do you just like? Like, mommy needs a Prada. Mommy needs a Fendi. Mommy needs. What does she have, Ortega? What does she need? [PHONE SOUNDS] Y’all, I am seeing the most beautiful wall of shoes right now. She’s giving you fuckin color, she’s giving you variety, she’s giving you texture.
JORDAN CHILES [00:46:09] I’m giving you Jordans. Any Jordan shoe, any dunk shoe. Honestly, any shoe in general because I have some Balencies down here. I have a Prada down here. I have Alexander down here. I have shoes upon shoes. I am a shoe head.
JVN [00:46:28] [CLAPS] Jordan, here’s the thing. After our time together, I just feel like I love you so much. It literally, like, hurts my fucking 35-year-old body. Like, the amount of love I have for you. Like, I just think you’re one of the most amazing people. I love you so much. I just cannot wait to see everything that you do. What else do I feel? So much gratitude. Like, I just literally love you so much. Thank you for coming on, Getting Curious. And I just love you so much. I can’t stand it.
JORDAN CHILES [00:46:54] I love you, too!
JVN [00:46:59] You’ve been listening to Getting Curious with me, Jonathan Van Ness. Our guest this week was Jordan Chiles. You’ll find links to her work in the episode description of whatever you’re listening to the show on. Our theme music is “Freak” by Quiñ – thank you so much to her for letting us use it. And honey, if you enjoyed our show please introduce a friend, tell someone in your family. Fun! We love telling our friends and family about podcasts we love. You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN. Our editor is Andrew Carson. Getting Curious is produced by me, Erica Getto, and Zahra Crim.
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