Simone Biles

Date Of Birth:
14 March 1997
Place Of Birth:
Columbus, Ohio
Best Known As:
The first African American woman gymnast to be world champion

Name at birth: Simone Arianne Biles

Simone Biles is a four-time Olympic gold medalist and the first African-American to win the world all-around gymnastics title, which she did in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019. Raised by her grandparents after being placed in a foster home, Simone Biles began competing in gymnastics in 2011 and quickly shot to the top of the American rankings. After her winning run of world championships, she decided to turn professional in 2015. Going into the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, she was the favorite, having been three-time all-around champion and three-time floor champion. She didn't disappoint in Rio, winning an Olympic bronze medal in the balance beam and four Olympic gold medals in the vault, the floor exercise, the team all-around event and the individual all-around event, cementing her status as one of the best gymnasts in history. She was picked to carry the United States flag in the closing ceremonies for those Olympics. After taking almost two years off, Biles returned for the 2018 U.S. Gymnastic Championships and won gold medals in all four of her events, as well as a record fifth all-around title. At the 2020 Summer Olympics (held in Tokyo in 2021 due to the Covid pandemic), Biles was expected to compete for up to five gold medals. However, she surprised the world by pulling out of the team competitions and nearly all of the individual competitions after the games began, saying that "my mind and body are simply not in sync" and "Sometimes I can’t even fathom twisting... I seriously cannot comprehend how to twist." She did choose to compete in one event, the balance beam.
Extra Credit

Simone Biles committed to attend UCLA in 2014, deferring entry until after the Rio Olympics of 2016. She then decided to turn professional instead… Her teammates on the 2016 Olympic team included Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman.

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