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In the world of gymnastics, one name stands out above all others: Simone Biles. With her extraordinary talent, unmatched skills and unwavering determination, Biles has redefined what it means to be a gymnast. But her impact extends far beyond the gymnastics arena. Over the last two years, the 26-year-old star has become a symbol of resilience and a prominent voice on the topic of mental health. Here’s why Simone Biles will always be the GOAT of gymnastics.

From foster care to gymnastic champ.

Simone endured the unthinkable growing up in Columbus, Ohio. The star born, March 17, 1997, grew up with her siblings in a turbulent household where drug abuse and addiction were commonplace. Bile’s mother and father were forced to place the dynamic icon and her siblings in foster care, after their battle with substance abuse spiraled out of control, according to Pop Sugar. 

The children bounced around from different foster homes until their grandfather Ron Biles and his second wife, Nellie stepped in to adopt them. Biles’ athletic prowess shined at an early age. notes that at six years old, the incredible athlete was taken to a gym where she saw older girls practicing gymnastics. A few coaches were amazed when they saw the young tot successfully imitating some of the girls and their fast moves. One instructor wrote a note to Biles’ family recommending that she give the sport a try. The rest was history.

Ron and Nellie enrolled the superstar into a training program at Bannon’s Gymnastix in Houston with Coach Aimee Boorman. Biles advanced through the program and quickly obtained enough skills to compete in her first competition in 2011. At the American Classic, Biles came in third place in the all-around competition and first place in the vault round. 

At 14, she made the difficult decision to become homeschooled so that she could focus on her gymnastics career full-time.


Unparalleled Achievements

Simone Biles’ ascent to greatness began early in her career. With her incredible athleticism and precision, she quickly rose through the ranks, capturing the attention of gymnastics enthusiasts worldwide. Biles has amassed an astonishing number of accolades, including multiple U.S. National Championship titles and World Championship medals.

In 2013, 16-year-old Biles exploded on the athletic scene when she made her debut at the Antwerp World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. After completing a stellar all-around routine and an awe-inspiring floor exercise, Biles scored a silver in vault and a bronze in balance beam.

Her crowning moment came during the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she secured four gold medals and one bronze medal, the highest number of Olympic gold medals in a single game for a U.S. gymnast, according to ESPN. She’s also the first woman to win five all-around World Championship tiles. Three were earned during her incredible gymnastic run between 2013 and 2015. She was blessed with two more awards in 2018 and ’19, bringing her overall total to 25 medals.

Biles’ performances were nothing short of extraordinary, pushing the boundaries of what was thought possible in gymnastics. Her routines were marked by daring maneuvers, such as the awe-inspiring Biles on the floor exercise—a double layout with a half twist that has since become synonymous with her name.

Beyond the medals and records, Simone Biles has made significant contributions to her sport. She has introduced revolutionary skills that have been named after her, cementing her legacy as a trailblazer and inspiring future generations of gymnasts to push the limits of their abilities. 

Championing Mental Health

While Simone Biles’ physical prowess is undeniable, her most significant impact may lie in her courageous advocacy for mental health. During the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Biles faced immense pressure as she contended with the weight of expectations and her own personal struggles. In a moment that stunned the world, she made the difficult decision to prioritize her mental well-being and withdrew herself from the July 27 and July 29 all-around competitions. Biles said she was battling with self-confidence and a case of the “twisties,”— a term often used in the gymnastics community to describe the feeling of uncertainty when a gymnast doesn’t know where they are in the air. The misstep could potentially lead to serious injury.

“I just don’t trust myself as much as I used to,” Biles told reporters after she announced her devastating withdrawal. “I don’t know if it’s age. I’m a little bit more nervous when I do gymnastics. I feel like I’m also not having as much fun, and I know that this Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself. I came here, and I felt like I was still doing it for other people. So that just hurts my heart that doing what I love has been kind of taken away from me to please other people.”

This bold move sparked a global conversation about the importance of mental health in sports. Biles’ willingness to openly discuss her struggles has shattered the stigma surrounding mental well-being and has brought attention to the unique pressures faced by athletes. By prioritizing her mental health, the GOAT demonstrated that true strength lies not only in physical prowess but also in recognizing and addressing one’s emotional needs.

Her courage has inspired countless individuals to speak up, seek help, and prioritize self-care. Biles has shown that it is not only okay to prioritize mental health but also necessary, regardless of the stage or magnitude of the challenges faced.


Legacy and Influence

Simone Biles’ impact extends far beyond her individual achievements. She has become a role model for aspiring athletes worldwide, showcasing the power of perseverance, dedication, and self-belief. Her success has shattered barriers, paving the way for more diversity and inclusivity in gymnastics.

Moreover, Biles’ influence transcends sports. She has used her platform to advocate for change, challenge societal norms, and inspire individuals to embrace their authentic selves. Her fearlessness in addressing mental health has sparked a broader dialogue about the well-being of athletes and the importance of nurturing one’s mental resilience.

Simone Biles is much more than a gymnastics icon; she is a symbol of strength, resilience, and compassion. Through her extraordinary achievements and unwavering commitment to mental health, she has left an indelible mark on the world of sports and beyond. Biles’ legacy serves as a testament to the power of perseverance, the importance of self-care and the limitless potential that lies within each of us.

And there’s so much more ahead for the incredible athlete.

In May, Biles said “I do” to her longtime boyfriend Jonathan Owens. The happy couple had a lavish wedding in Cabo San Lucas with 140 guests.  The beautiful bride wore four different dresses during the ceremony.  Biles told fans during a recent  Instagram Q&A session, that it was “kind of dramatic” to wear so many different gowns during the ceremony. “But you only have a wedding once,” she gushed.

Biles is gearing up to make her return to the gymnastics floor in August. On June 28, USA Gymnastics announced that Biles was scheduled to compete at the U.S. Classic outside of Chicago, her first event since 2020’s Tokyo Olympics. The star athlete will compete at a single-day event set for Aug. 5 at the NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates, according to the Associated Press.


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