By Niyah Martin, Intern
Simone Biles has set a historical example of the heights that perseverance, hard work, and consistency can take anyone. For Simone, an innocent hobby quickly transformed into a career full of success. Over time, she has become the most decorated female gymnast in American history. Her confidence, bubbly personality and perfect performances captured the hearts of millions all around the world. Due to her talent, Simone has completely dominated the gymnastics world. In the totality of her career, she has won seven Olympic medals and 25 World Championship medals. Today, she continues to inspire millions of young people as an athlete.
Simone Biles was born on March 14, 1997, in Columbus, Ohio. Early on in childhood, Simone and her sister were adopted by their grandparents. They were raised in Spring, Texas. From a young age, Simone took a strong interest in gymnastics. At the budding age of six, she began taking classes after a field trip to a gymnastics facility. At this moment, a star was born.
Simone began training at Bannon’s Gymnastix at eight years old. She trained under the guidance of Aimee Boorman. Overtime, Simone’s talent grew, and it became clear to her coaches and family that she was meant for something big. In training, Simone was quick on her feet and a fast learner. She was extremely eager to tackle difficult routines. Her stature made it easy for her to execute unique moves. In her career, she has mastered all four gymnastic events which include beam, bar, floor, and vault.
When she was 13 years old, Simone decided to enroll in homeschool. The flexibility of a homeschool schedule would allow her more time to devote to perfecting her craft. In the long and difficult journey to the Olympics, Simone endured a shocking 32 hours of training per week.
Throughout her athletic journey, Simone has competed in gymnastics competitions all over the world. In 2010, Simone dominated the Women’s Junior Olympic National Championship. In the competition, she won both gold and bronze medals. This achievement led to the next level of competition, and she began to compete as an elite gymnast at only 14 years old. As a senior competitor, Simone won her first all-around title at the American Cup in March 2013. In 2014, Simone competed in the Secret U.S Classic and won gold medals in floor, beam and vault events. By 2015, Simone had already won her third all-around title.
In July of 2016, Simone was assigned to an iconic group of gymnasts to compete in the Rio Olympics. The group consisted of Olympic veterans Ally Raisman and Gabby Douglas. Along with newcomers, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian, the group became known as the “Final Five”. These young women would seize the spotlight. During the Olympics, Simone competed in all floor, vault, beam, and bar events. By the end of the summer, the “Final Five” had won a gold medal, making history for the United States. Simone took home five gold medals and one bronze medal.
Due to her overwhelming success, Simone faced enormous pressure to perform well in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. So much so, that she began to experience a decline in her mental and physical health. She spoke out about feeling extremely stressed and for the first time, did not feel strong enough to persevere. As a result, Simone withdrew from the finals. Due to this decision, Simone faced scrutiny from social media and news outlets. However, she also received an enormous amount of support from her family, friends, and fans. Simone set a powerful example for her supporters, to put the wellbeing of their mental health, first.
Simone’s decision to withdraw has made her happier and healthier. After years of relentless training and competing, her main goal is to relax. Today, she is putting most of her focus into spending time with her family and friends. Simone is now happily engaged to NFL player, Jonathan Owens as of 2022.
Simone Biles is a fierce competitor that has pioneered a new path for up-and-coming gymnasts. Her determination and strength have earned her the title of one of the best gymnasts of all time. Simone has set an immense example for young gymnasts and what they should strive for. Her fearlessness and refusal to back down from a challenge make her a marvelous athlete. Her courage to raise conversations about difficult feelings and experiences is admirable. Simone Biles is unstoppable, and she will go down in history as one of the most memorable gymnasts in the world.
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