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International Sportswoman in the Spotlight: Simone Biles

By | Published October 5, 2017

This American sweetheart stole our hearts at the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, anyone with an interest within the world of gymnastics knew about Simone Biles long before she hit our screens in 2016. Biles backstory is one of heartbreak, with her mother’s struggle with drugs and alcohol, she was placed into foster care, her life could’ve taken a very different route if it wasn’t for her biological grandparents who adopted Biles and her younger sister. Biles discovered gymnastics by accident when a school trip got cancelled meaning instead they spent a day at a gymnasium. It wasn’t soon after this, that Biles was training to become the legendary gymnast she is today. Some have called her the most talented gymnast in history and at only 19, her career is only set to improve.

Simone Biles performing a back flip on the beam

Since winning her first World Championship title in 2013, Biles has gone on to win it a further two times. Making her the first female gymnast to win this title in three straight World Championship competitions. Not to mention Biles is also three-time world floor champion, two-time world balance beam champion and four-time US National all round gymnast. Biles also now possesses 5 Olympic medals, of which 4 are gold for the individual all round, vault, floor and team events. Having a total of nineteen Olympic and world championship medals it is undoubtable that Biles is the most successful American gymnast of all time.

Standing at only 142cm and weighing in at only 47kg, she may be small but Biles is a powerhouse as her body is purely made of muscle. This gymnast can not only execute flawless back handsprings, pairs of backflips, double layouts and much more, she does this both on the floor and on a beam measuring only 10cm wide. Here’s the thing that Biles does best, she will always, no matter what the manoeuvre stick her landing with a picture-perfect dismount that will never cease to amaze us. Not all gymnasts can perform such skills. But what Biles does is take routines and manoeuvres that amazed us by other legendary gymnasts such as Kerri Stung and Nadia Comaneci and makes them more difficult. Biles primary vault, is the same as Strung, except Biles twists an extra time in the air backwards. Comaneci did a single flip, but Biles does two. Moves not tried before like Biles double layout, of two flips with straight legs and a half twist has now entered the gymnastics world being simply named ‘the Biles’.

Simone Biles performing a floor routine

Biles’s style is to continually improve and change the game of gymnastics, to prove that whilst being elegant, you can also be powerful. Biles is in a league of her own. She’s meeting the physical demands of an elite international award-winning gymnast, which is merely just one obstacle for Biles, whilst also balance teenage life. From landing a pair of double back handsprings to laughing around on the side-lines before her event. Simone Biles is legendary and the best part is, she’s only just started her Olympic career, there is so much more to come.