Simone Biles

Simone Biles

Simone Biles went into the Rio Olympics with the weight of a nation on her shoulders. At just 19 years of age she was expected to not only perform at a high standard but to bring gold back to the United States. In the past week she has smashed all expectations put on her, as well as becoming a household name worldwide.

Simone started taking gymnastics lessons when she was in elementary school and began her career in 2011 (aged 12) placing third in two events. The following year she chose to be homeschooled which gave her the chance to increase her training to almost 34 hours a week – keeping in line with other elite competitors. This decision has paid off for her and then some.

In 2013 she competed in her first World Artistic Gymnastics Championships where she won two gold medals (all around and floor competition) and a silver medal in the vault. The World Championships would be the competition where Simone would make her name: from 2013 – 2015 she won 14 medals, 10 of which were gold. In three short years she made history by becoming the first American woman to win three consecutive all-round titles at the event. Since she started competing aged 16 she has won 19 medals at major gymnastics events.

As a result of her success she was offered a number of endorsement deals with major brands, including Nike, and she made the decision turn professional, making the most of the opportunities that are coming her way. Her success has come with a downside though; she went into the Rio Games with unprecedented expectation on her. Simone however has not disappointed, she won gold in the all-round, vault and floor exercise events as well as being a part of the U.S. team that won gold in the team event. She also won a bronze medal in the beam event to take her total medal count in Rio to 5. In doing this she has become the first woman since 1968 to win four gold medals in gymnastics (from six events).

-Michelle O’Brien
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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