Simone Biles has been in the news recently, which got me thinking – how much do I know about the Olympic gymnast? Unfortunately, not enough. So, I decided, along with you, to take a look into Biles’ past and learn more about the phenomenon. Simone Biles, in full Simone Arianne Biles, was born on March 14, 1997, in Columbus, Ohio, the third of four siblings. Her birth mother, Shanon Biles, was unable to care for Simone and her siblings, so all four went in and out of foster care. In 2000, Biles’s maternal grandfather, Ron Biles, and his second wife, Nellie Cayetano Biles, began temporarily caring for Shanon’s children in the north Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, after learning that his grandchildren had been in foster care. In 2003, the couple officially adopted the two youngest, Simone and Adria.
Biles became interested in gymnastics at age six during a day-care field trip to Bannon’s Gymnastix, where she remained for 11 years under the direction of her coach, Aimee Boorman. Biles won a gold medal in floor exercise and a bronze in vault at the Women’s Junior Olympic National Championships in 2010 before breaking into the elite level of competition in 2011. In less than two years later, Biles dominated the sport. What set Biles apart was her consistency, her exuberant personality, and the high degree of difficulty she incorporated into her routines in all four events – vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise.