Simone Biles didn't get to win the individual women's gymnastics all-around gold at the Rio Olympic Games 2016 without help, support, and her remarkable perseverance to excel in her chosen sport. Biles' success, however, meant giving up some things that her peers enjoy regularly. The 19-year-old had to give up normal schooling and get homeschooled in order to better manage her gymnastics training.
Biles recounted how she had to leave normal high school and her friends when she was 13, The Undefeated reported. At a time when her peers enjoy prom and after-school activities, Biles was undergoing intensive training to get to the top of her league.
Her competition schedule and rigorous training made it hard for her to maintain a traditional high school education. If she's away on competitions, Biles had to be absent from school for a month and she had to bring her schoolwork with her.
She recalled how she felt "so lonely" back then and how much she missed her pals, but for her, it's all for the best. Biles said that she "wanted to do better" and she didn't want to throw away her skills at gymnastics, but to make them "look good," The Undefeated added. In the end, Biles' sacrifices paid off, as evident in her impressive performance at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
It was in 2013 when Biles won at the U.S. National Gymnastics Championships. That same year, she also won the 2013 World Championships in Belgium, taking home four medals (two of those were gold), according to PJ Media. Biles went on to defend her all-around world champion title in 2014 and 2015.
Biles' original plans involved taking a traditional college path, but instead opted to go pro and signed with sports agency Octagon. Despite the demands of gymnastics and studying, Biles doesn't forget to attend church regularly. She was raised by her adoptive parents as a Christian in Spring, a suburb in Houston, Texas, according to Texas Monthly.
Biles' adoptive parents are her maternal grandfather Ron Biles and his wife, Nellie. Biles and her sister were adopted by the couple when she was just a baby after her birth mother became addicted to drugs. Prior to that, Biles was in foster care.
Biles' victory in Rio puts her ahead of teammate and silver medalist Aly Raisman by a margin of 2.1, The Telegraph reported. Biles' recent success puts her as the most decorated gymnast in history, making the U.S. the first country to have four consecutive all-around Olympic winners in gymnastics starting with Carly Patterson in 2004, Nastia Liukin in 2008, and Gabby Douglas in 2012, Time listed.
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