Photo: @Simonebiles on Instagram
USA Gymnastics Olympics team member Simone Biles arrived at the games in Rio with a huge advantage: she hasn’t lost a competition in three years. Even though she’s only appeared at three times, she has 14 World Gymnastics Championship medals, more than any woman, EVER—and 10 of them are gold. But despite her golden successes in the gym, Biles’ path hasn’t always been easy. Now, it’s characterized most by hard work, but when she was young, it was simply HARD.
Biles was born on March 14, 1997, to a mother who was already addicted to drugs and alcohol. When she was three, children’s services called her maternal grandfather and told him she was in foster care. “I said, ‘Send them to me,'” Ron Biles told TIME Magazine of Simone and her two older siblings. She went back with her mother for a time, but when she was five, her mom’s parental rights were completely terminated and she was back in foster care again. It was then that Ron Biles and his wife Nellie ceased being parents to Simone and her younger sister Adria, who was 14 months at the time, and legally adopted them. Simone called them “Mom and Dad” from the start.” When I was younger, I thought every kid was adopted,” she told TIME. “I didn’t understand why people made it such a big deal. To me it’s just normal.”
Simone Biles posted this photo to her Instagram account on Father’s Day, saying, “Happy Father’s Day ❤️ Thanks for always protecting me, I love you!” Photo: @simonebiles on Instagram
This week, the attention has been taken OFF Simone’s gymnastics and ON to her family life by the repeated instances of sports commentator Al Trautwig calling Ron and Nellie Biles her “grandparents” instead of her parents. When pressed about this detail by a twitter user, Trautwig shockingly responded:
SHOCKINGLY, that didn’t go over well. So Trautwig eventually issued an apology yesterday afternoon, saying:
“I regret that I wasn’t more clear in my wording on the air. I compounded the error on Twitter, which I quickly corrected. To set the record straight, Ron and Nellie are Simone’s parents.”
Now that we have THAT cleared up…Simone’s path in life certainly became smoother thanks to her loving adopted parents. Then, gymnastics entered her life after a day care field trip to a gym. Her mom Nellie says Simone returned from the field trip with a note from the gym staff asking if Simone could take gymnastics lessons because she’d wowed them with her aptitude during the field trip. The rest, as they say, is history.
Biles is now SO good, so far ahead of even her teammates, that at the U.S. Gymnastics Olympic trials, she could have fallen off the balance beam TWICE and still won. That’s how much more difficult her routines are than everyone else’s. THAT’S HOW GOOD SIMONE BILES IS! Check out her winning floor routine at the P&G 2016 U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Her flips are simply breathtaking!
As expected, Biles held a commanding lead in scores over the rest of the field at the gymnastics team qualifying competition Sunday night. Tonight we can expect her to turn in some more STELLAR routines and lead Team USA gymnastics to GOLD! I’ll be watching—and I can’t wait! Due to her prowess on almost every event, Biles is expected to take up to 5 gold medals home, including the all-around.
And though she certainly has a TON of talent, she also has two loving PARENTS to thank for it.
Go TEAM USA and GO SIMONE BILES!