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Simone Biles' New Coach: 'I'm Not Going To Change [Her]'
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After working at WOGA for 10 years, former French gymnasts Laurent Landi and his wife, Cécile Canqueteau Landi, got a special surprise last fall. They became the new coaches of three-time world and 2016 Olympic all-around champion Simone Biles.

Laurent Landi coached Madison Kocian to two medals at the 2016 Olympic Games

It made sense for the Landis to become Biles' new coaches since they've known her for a long time. It also was a short drive from WOGA to Spring, Texas, where Laurent is also the director of the competitive program at World Champions Centre, the state-of-the-art gym that Ron and Nellie Biles built.

Following are excerpts from our exclusive interview with Laurent Landi, which will appear in the January/February 2018 issue of International Gymnast.

… "I feel very fortunate that I have to coach Simone, but it's not as easy as people may think. Aimee (Boorman) did such an incredible job in the past 12 years of Simone’s life. She brought her to the top and was able to accomplish something that's never been done before—the most successful gymnast in the U.S.—it's quite a resume."

… "I'm not going to change Simone Biles; I would be a very bad coach if I would do that. I will help her as much as I can with my technical knowledge and my understanding of how to plan and how to produce at the right time. I’m not going to change who she is."

Asked what he likes about Simone's personality.

… "That she doesn’t take herself too seriously. … At the end of the day, everybody that tries to fight for gold at worlds and Olympic Games, they're all almost as good as each other. But the difference is between the ears, and I think Simone is one of the best at that.”

And about Cécile's role as a coach.

"She's her coach on the beam. …I'll have an input, and I want the start value to be as high as possible. But … she needs to perform very well, and on beam, only a woman can know that…."

Read the the complete interview in the January/February 2018 issue. To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition or to order back issues of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

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