Learn the story behind the gymnast who survived a difficult childhood and won Olympic gold.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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Simone was born in Ohio, United States. She was the third of four siblings. Both parents suffered from serious addictions. Simone's childhood, as well as that of her siblings, was far from happy.
When Biles was three years old, her grandparents, Ronald and Nellie, took care of her, as her parents couldn't do it properly. However, Simone's biological mother was still legally in charge of her and her little sister Adria.
Two years passed before her mother decided to go with the two girls. However, after returning home, the social workers realized that the children could not live with their biological mother. They called the grandparents and asked if they would like to adopt the girls. They said yes. Simone's adoptive parents gave her everything she needed, which is why she never missed her birth mother.
Simone was hyperactive as a child, so when she began to show interest in gymnastics, her new parents were happy and relieved. The first time Simone fell in love with her profession was on a trip to visit a gymnastics club when she was six years old.
Thanks to her talent, she was soon noticed by the instructors, who sent her home with a letter asking her parents to allow her to join the club. Biles joined the world of professional sports in 2007, and four years later, she was third in all American classics. Her last season in a youth league was amazing, winning every event at the Alamo Classic. Her skills were also excellent.
Even if sports became Simone's first love, she had to sacrifice many things to achieve her dreams. To support her, Simone's father decided to change her education to Christian homeschooling.
Although she felt sad saying goodbye to her friends from school, she knew that homeschooling would give her time to become a first-class athlete.
Biles proved her talent when she won the US National Gymnastics Championships in 2013. At that time, the 16-year-old qualified for the first time for the World Gymnastics Championships tournament. She won a gold medal in the full event and became the first African American athlete to win gold in the general division of the World Championship.
The following year, Simone won even more awards, overcoming her harsh past. In 2014, she first performed her famous double twist and half turn, which was later called "the Biles." In 2015, she entered the Rio de Janeiro Olympics as the favorite of her country and again surprised fans.
She surpassed herself by first winning gold for the United States in the team event and then winning gold in the individual overall. In the individual championship, she won three gold medals and one bronze, making Simone the fifth female gymnast in history to win four gold medals in an Olympic tournament.
The 23-year-old is the most decorated gymnast in the history of the World Championship. Biles delivered the record time on the final day of the World Gymnastics Championships in Germany, earning her 24th and 25th medals of her illustrious career, surprising the 23 set by Belarusian male gymnast Vitaly Scherbo in the 90s.
She planned to retire at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, as the games were postponed due to the pandemic, she continues to practice for the Olympics next year. There is no doubt that Simone has become one of the iconic female athletes of our time.