OnlyOnAOL: Gold medalist Carly Patterson on why Simone Biles is unique

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By: Donna Freydkin

Yes, Mary Lou Retton was the first American to win the holy grail of the summer Olympics, the gymnastics all-around gold medal, in 1984.

But it was Carly Patterson who tumbled her way into history as the first one to nab the prize during an uncontested Olympics -- meaning, she went up against beam and vault powerhouses Romania, China and Russia in 2004. And won. (Watch our interview with gold medalist Nastia Liukin above).

Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600Now, Patterson is a motivational speaker married to Mark Caldwell. And like the rest of us, she was riveted Thursday, watching Simone Biles and Aly Raisman go one-two and take home gold and silver.

PATTERSON"Normally I feel nervous, but with these girls I know how confident and consistent they are. I don't have that nervous heartbeat. I know how amazing they are. I know they're going to win. Every four years, it's so exciting. I have the Olympics on my TV nonstop. It's not just gymnastics. It helps unite the world. It gives us a sense of camaraderie," says Patterson.

SEE MORE: Everything you need to know about the Summer Olympics
OnlyOnAOL: Gold medalist Nastia Liukin on Simone Biles: She's the best ever

She's one of the handful of gymnasts to have a move named after her, the insanely hard dismount that Raisman performs off the beam. The Patterson, a double tucked Arabian, is the most difficult dismount on balance beam. Bar none. Raisman has nailed it.

"Some of my top coolest moments were winning the medal, being on a Wheaties box and having a skill named after me. But I never thought of it as a huge goal of mine," says Patterson. "One day in the gym, we just said, 'Let's try this double Arabian off beam.' We knew I was pretty good at them. It worked out. I did it really well. It hasn't been devalued. There's only one person in the world doing it and that's Aly Raisman."

OLYMPICS-RIO-AGYMNASTICS-W-INDWhat makes Biles such a standout?

"Simone's level of difficulty is so much higher than anyone else's. I was more nervous for Aly than Simone. I knew Simone was going to win. No one can come close to Simone. I don't think any of the countries have those breakout stars like Simone. They don't have anyone who can compete with her. They're trying their best but they're not coming close. The skills Simone does, a lot of people don't do them. Her tumbling passes, her vaults," says Patterson.

As for that moment, when Biles motioned for Raisman to join her on the floor and the two personified #squadgoals? There was just love and joy and friendship. "I thought that was so sweet. It just shows Aly and Simone's character as people. Aly is so grounded. Simone is going to be that same way. You can just tell. It's so sweet to see something that you don't see very often and set that example," says Patterson.

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Simone Biles at the 2016 Olympics
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Simone Biles at the 2016 Olympics
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Victory Ceremony - Women's Individual All-Around Victory Ceremony - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA bites her gold medal on the podium after winning the women's individual all-around final. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Victory Ceremony - Women's Individual All-Around Victory Ceremony - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA, wearing her gold medal, reacts at a camera after winning the women's individual all-around final. REUTERS/Mike Blake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Individual All-Around Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA competes on the vault during the women's individual all-around final. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Individual All-Around Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of the U.S. competes on the balance beam. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Individual All-Around Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of the U.S. celebrates winning the gold. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Individual All-Around Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA competes on the beam during the women's individual all-around final. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Individual All-Around Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA competes on the beam during the women's individual all-around final. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Individual All-Around Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of USA celebrates winning gold in the women's individual all-around final. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Final - Women's Individual All-Around Final - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Simone Biles (USA) of the United States competes on the uneven bars. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
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