Simone Biles: Why She’s a One of a Kind Athlete

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Simon Biles

Simone Biles is just like a normal 19-year-old girl who dreamt of going to the Olympics. This is how she describes herself during an interview with E:60 before she went to Rio for the 2016 Olympics.

This is not how the world sees her, though. She has been making history every since she won the World Championship All Around Gold medal in Antwerp, Belgium in 2013. She is the first African-American woman to win this title. During the event, Italian gymnast Carlotta Ferlito said about Simone?s success, ?I told Vanny Ferrari that next time we should also paint our skin black, so then we could win too.?

This sparked tremendous reactions against the Italian gymnast, but Simone was not chagrined by the comments. She even thought that people were just making up rumors, until she saw Ferlito?s and her face side by side on TV and social media and realized that the comment?had gone viral. ??I didn?t even care?on to the next. I never think of it as ?Oh, I?m the first African American to win it? so there?s a sense of pride?everyone just shoves that in our heads and it?s kind of like, if you want to think of it that way, you can. I just do my gymnastics because I like to have fun, and I don?t bring race into it.?

Greatest gymnast of all time

Three years later and Simone has won 2 gold medals?for both Team and Individual All Around. All eyes are on her upcoming events in Vault, Balance Beam and Floor Exercise. If she wins the remaining 3 gold medals to round up 5 golds, she will yet again make Olympic and sports history, as the greatest gymnast of all time.

She trains 32 hours a week, and only has Sundays off. Her Olympic dream all started with an unplanned trip to a gymnastics center for the first time. This is where Aimee Boorman, her coach, first noticed her. She recalls that Simone was back then waiting in line and could not stand still. She kept on bouncing all over the place and then did a seat drop, which is bouncing to her bottom and straight back up to her feet, as if she were on a trampoline. It didn?t take long before Simone was pulled to be evaluated to be part of the team.

During an interview after winning her second Olympic gold, Simone said: ?I?m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps, I?m the first Simone Biles.?

And she is definitely not to be compared with any other athlete. With her stats now [14 World championships, 2 Olympic gold medals] she already is the best gymnast the world has ever seen.

Simone Biles Routine

Photo composite illustrates Simone Biles? fantastic vault routine. (Photo credit: Jeremy White; Composite by Sergio Pe?anha and Jon Huang for New York Times)

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