At the age of 19 years old, Simon Biles has managed to rock the 2016 Rio Olympics by leading Team USA straight to the gold. She’s already made headlines as the most decorated female gymnast in history, and she hasn’t even completed her run in the worldwide competition. She’s being coined as a one of a kind athlete who dominates the sport with a god-given talent, but people have become fascinated with her drive and ambition alone.
She’s proven repetitively just how thick her skin actually is by letting inappropriate comments roll off her shoulder at a time when she should feel the most pressure. She’s not just an inspiration to the world of athletics, but continues to rise to the occasion as a role model for young girls pursuing their dreams despite limitations. She chose not to acknowledge Carlotta Ferlito’s racist remark after medaling at the 2013 World Championships; Ferlito had stated, “I told Vanny (Vanessa Ferrari) that next time we should also paint our skin black so that we could win, too.” More recently, NBC analyst Al Trautwig issued an apology this past Monday for degrading the status of Simone’s parents, strictly on the basis of her adoption at the age of six after spending years in foster care with her siblings. Negative criticism certainly hasn’t held this superstar back.
The average score of difficulty for all gymnasts is an estimated 5.19. Currently, Biles’ score is 6.02. Not to mention, she already has a signature move called “The Biles.” This specific maneuver is a double layout with a half turn, originally developed in order to accommodate a foot injury and prevent further complication.
Simone has already made history as the first female gymnast to win three world all-around titles consecutively, as well as being the first African-American to be crowned the world all-around champion. She is projected to win four more Olympic medals which include the all-around, vault, floor exercise, and the balance beam. If she succeeds in Rio, she can add most decorated American gymnast in history to her already outstanding resume.
Biles has been fortunate enough to have a consistent, strong support network surrounding her for almost 10 years. She has been working with the same coach, Aimee Boorman, since she was eight years old. Boorman is two-time recipient of the USOC National Coach of the Year Award, and is a former competitive gymnast herself. Simone considers her to be a second mom and looks to her for guidance, as well as that extra push a fierce competitor needs when she struggles on her own.
In order to keep up with Biles at this point, any other Olympic gymnast would have to compete flawlessly. Gabby Douglas, Simone’s Team USA teammate, will be defending her all-around title in the upcoming women’s rounds and is prepared to give it all she’s got. Although the two women will be competing against each other for the gold, they consider themselves to be as close as sisters. Regardless of off-stage social connections, Biles is expected to come out on top, and the world is certainly ready, waiting, and watching to see her make history yet again.