Simone Arianne Biles, the world renowned 2016 Olympic individual all-around, vault and floor gold medalist, holds the record for most gold medals in women’s gymnastics at single games in the United States. Here are some very interesting facts about the American artistic gymnast:
She was born Simone Arianne Biles on March 14, 1997, in Columbus, Ohio, U.S, to Shanon Biles and Kelvin Clemons.
Biles the third of four siblings were raised partially at foster care and later were adopted by her maternal grandparents. Her parents were drug and alcoholic addicts and her father deserted the family.
She did her secondary education as homeschooler and graduated in 2015. She was all set to join University of California, Los Angeles, but with her decision of turning professional in 2015, she forfeited her eligibility.
Biles hold dual citizenship of America and Belize, through her mother. Her adopted mother Nelli Cayetano Biles emigrated from Belize.
At the age of six she was enrolled in an optional training program at Bannon’s Gymnastix under the coach Aimee Boorman.
She had muscular physique even at the age ofthree and was hyperactive with full of energy.This was her undoing as she did not know how to control her immense power and wasn’t naturally flexible.
Her career began at the American Classic in Houston on July 01, 2011. She excelled in vault and balance beam, fourth on floor exercise, eighth on uneven bar and was placed third all-round.
Her career took off in 2012, when she switched from public school to homeschooling and spent more time training. Biles credit her sudden rise in gymnastic career to more hours in the gym, translating into better outcomes in competition.
On June 05, 2012, Biles won the junior session at the American Classic in Huntsville, Texas and qualified to compete at the 2012 USA Gymnastic National Championship.
She was selected to the Unites States Gymnastic Junior Team based on her performance at USA Gymnastic National Championship held at St. Louis, Missouri. She finished third all-round, first on vault, sixth on uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.
As a replacement she made her international senior team debut at the 2013 American Cup. Though she was leading for two rotations, she fell off the beam during a tumbling series near the end of her routine and finished second.
Bileswas part of gold medal winning U.S team at the 2013 City of Jesolo Trophy, Jesolo, Italy. She also took the all-round, vault, balance beam and floor exercise titles.
After a disastrous performance at U.S Classic in July, she went on to compete at the 2013 U.S.A Gymnastic National Championship in August and was crowned national all-round champion. She also won silver medal on all four individual events.
Bilesis the first American gymnast since 1991, to qualify to the all-round and all four individual events finals at the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastic Championship in Antwerp, Belgium. She went on to win the all-round title.
She became the seventh American and first African-American to win the world all-round title. She also won gold on the floor exercise, silver on vault, bronze on balance beam and missed in the uneven bar finishing fourth.
She missed the start of 2014 season with shoulder injury and returned in time to claim the national all-round champion title, finishing more than four points clear of second placed Ross at 2014 USA Gymnastic National Championship. She also won gold on vault and floor with silver on balance beam.
At the 2014 World Artistic Gymnastic Championship in Nanning, China, she won her second consecutive world all-round title. She is the second American women to repeat as world all-round champion after Miller. She also contributed to USA team’s gold medal finish.
She finished the 2014 WAGC, with four gold medals and first women in 40 years to win in single world meet. In addition to all-round and team title, she won gold on balance beam and floor exercise. Her tally of six gold medals in the world championship was the most by an American gymnast.
She was named one of ESPNW’s impact 25 player and was also chosen as ‘2014 Sportswoman of the Year’ by the Women’s sports foundation.
On July 29, 2015, Biles turned professional by signing up with the Octagon sports agency and celebrated it with her third all-round title at the 2015 U.S National Gymnastic Championship. She is the first women in 23 years to do so.
At the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastic Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, she was well below her best and yet she won the all-round title, to become as the first woman to record three consecutive world all-round titles.
She retained her balance beam and floor exercise title to bring her total gold at world championship to 10, the most by any women in the world championship history. Biles was named Team USA Female Olympic Athlete of the Year in December that year.
In April 2016 at the ‘Pacific Rim Gymnastic Championship,’ apart from taking home the all-round title, she scored high on the vault, balance beam and on the floor exercise with more difficult routine to help team US with title.
At the 2016 USA Gymnastic National Championships, she won the all-round title by a wide margin of 3.9 points. Her performance at the floor and vault events also earned her the maximum points for the title.
After her medical records were disclosed by the Russian hackers, Biles proudly opened up about having ‘attention deficit hyperactivity disorder’ and she is permitted by the USADA and WADA to take medication for it.
Bileswas chosen as one of BBC’s 100 Women and she was also one of the finalist for the Time magazine’s 2016 Person of the Year.
She won her first Olympic Gold Medal in the gymnastic team event at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games. The only gymnast for Team USA to compete on all four events in the finals.
Biles went on to claim three more gold medals at the Olympics on all-round event, floor exercise and on vault in addition to one bronze medal on balance beam. With four gold medals she set an American record for most gold medals in women’s gymnastics at single games.
She is one of the few women gymnasts to have won five medals at the Olympics and she added one more experience as the first American female gymnast to be given the honor of being Team USA Flag bearer in the closing ceremony.
In July 2017, Biles was awarded the ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete. She has planned to take all of 2017 off and resume training in early 2018.