At 4 feet 9 inches tall, Simone Biles has become the biggest superstar athlete overnight. At 19-years-old, she has completed her first Olympic Games and is coming home with two gold medals after winning the gymnastics Women’s Individual All-Around yesterday afternoon.
“Every emotion hit me at once so I was just kind of a train wreck,” said Biles to reporters. “Everything was going through my head but mainly it was like I had finally done it and when that hits you, you can’t really stop the emotions.”
She shocked the audience and judges with rare routines and dismounts that have never been seen before. But being able to defy gravity doesn’t just happen, it takes perseverance and drive. And it’s not only the athlete who makes tremendous sacrifices for the gold, it’s their family.
Biles’ early childhood was anything but storybook. She bounced back and forth from state and foster care until she was six.
“Biles was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1997 to drug-addicted parents who struggled to care for their children. Biles and her three siblings were shuffled back and forth between their mother’s house and a foster home. (Biles’s father had abandoned her mother and was never present in his daughter’s life.) When I asked her what memories she has from those days, Biles recalled that one of the foster homes had a trampoline that she and her siblings weren’t allowed to play on,” writes the Texas Monthly.
But in 2001, her grandparents Ron and Nellie Biles officially adopted Simone and her sister and they moved to Spring, Texas. Her grandparents became her mom and dad and introduced her to gymnastics and the Christian faith, both playing a major role in her life right now.
Imagine if she had never been taken in and given the support of a loving good Christian family? Her faith and family is how she continues to stay focused on her grueling routine. “In a typical week Biles trains on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:30 to 5:30; on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 to noon and 3 to 6; and on Saturdays from 9 to 1. On Sundays, her one day off, she goes to church with her family,” writes the Texas Monthly.
Well, her training has certainly payed off. She has made history at the Rio 2016 games and comes back to the US victorious with a heavy neck holding two gold medals.