By Ozie Davis III, Sports Editor
Her twenty years on planet Earth have not been struggle free and yet, US Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles is all right with that.
“I want young kids to know that they can achieve,” ….no matter the obstacle, she said. From birth, Biles’ mother had chronic drug addiction issues and her father was not in the picture. Biles and her three siblings had been in and out of the foster care system, when, at age six, biological grandfather Ron Biles and his wife Nellie adopted her and her younger sister who they had been raising since they were about three.
Biles was born in Columbus, Ohio Her grandfather, Ron Biles, is from Cleveland, but they live (and she was raised) in Spring, Texas.
When you meet her, Simone Biles oozes inspiration. Her smile lightens up a room.
I recently sat down with the four-time Olympic gold medalist as she visited Cincinnati promoting her Hershey’s Gold candy bar. The caramelized crème, peanuts, and pretzels gold chocolate candy bar is the first of its kind, symbolic of Biles, but not as spectacular. Although the bar tastes awesome, Simone Biles’ gymnastic flavor leaves no comparison.
The reserved and humble Biles is slow to receive the title as “face” of the US Gymnast Team. “That’s probably Gabby or one of the others. I just try to do my part,’’ she said.
But Biles does play a role in the inspiration of young Black girls. When asked about “Black girl magic” and comparisons to Serena Williams, she smiles, and reiterates her desire that her experiences “motivate” and “Inspire’ youth that look up to her.
Biles is a four-time Olympic gold medalist and a three-time World all-around gymnastics champion. At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, she led the U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team, nicknamed “The Final Five,” to win gold, and dominated the competition, winning gold in the women’s individual all-around, vault and floor exercise, and bronze in the balance beam. In 2015 at the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, she became the only female gymnast to ever win three consecutive all-around titles.
She is the most decorated American female gymnast, with a total of 19 medals, 14 of them gold. Biles has been sponsored by Hershey’s since 2015. They also sponsor the United States Olympic Committee and the USA Gymnastics Team.
Biles is currently training for competition in the summer of 2018. She trains 6 days a week, 7 hours a day. As the Winter Olympics are set to begin, the next Summer Olympics is in Tokyo, Japan, in 2020.
While she is far too humble to ever say it, it appears Biles is on course to be the greatest gymnast ever. She is certainly the best gymnast in the world today.