Simone Biles

Simone Arianne Biles (born March 14, 1997)[4] is an American artistic gymnast. Biles is the three-time world all-around champion (2013–15), four-time United States national all-around champion (2013–16), three-time world floor champion (2013–15), two-time world balance beam champion (2014, 2015), and a member of the gold medal-winning American teams at the 2014 and the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.


Biles is the first African-American to be world all-around champion and the first woman to win three consecutive world all-around titles. Biles is also the most decorated American female gymnast in World Championships history, with a total of fourteen medals, ten of them gold. With ten gold medals, Biles also holds the record for most gold medals won by a female gymnast in the history of the World Championships.[5]


Personal life

Simone Arianne Biles was born on March 14, 1997 in Columbus, Ohio.[6] Simone's grandparents, Ronald and Nellie Biles, adopted Simone and her sister Adria, who is also a gymnast.[7] She has two brothers named Ronald and Adam.[6] Biles graduated from high school in summer 2015. She spent all her secondary education as a homeschooler.

Biles verbally committed to UCLA on August 4, 2014, announcing her decision on Twitter. She planned to defer enrollment until after the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.[8] On July 29, 2015, she announced that she would turn professional, forfeiting her NCAA eligibility.[9]


Biles first tried gymnastics at six years old as part of a day-care field trip. She was having fun and started copying other gymnasts in the back of the gym. One of the coaches, Ms. Ronnie, saw her and told Coach Aimee. They sent a letter home to her parents suggesting she continue with gymnastics. Biles soon enrolled in an optional training program at Bannon’s Gymnastix and is now one of the most dominating gymnasts in the world.[10]

Gymnastics career



Biles began her career on July 1, 2011 at the 2011 American Classic in Houston, Texas. She placed third all-around, first on vault and balance beam, fourth on floor exercise, and eighth on uneven bars.[11] Later that month, Biles competed at the 2011 CoverGirl Classic in Chicago, Illinois, where she placed twentieth all-around, fifth on balance beam and floor exercise.[3][13] She finished her first season at the 2011 Visa Championships in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she tied for seventh on vault.[14]


In 2012, Biles switched from public school to home schooling. The change allowed her to increase her training from approximately 20 hours a week to 32. Biles credited the increased training time with her improved success during the 2012 season.[10]


Biles' first meet of 2012 was again the American Classic in Huntsville, Texas, where she placed first all-around and on vault, tied for second on floor exercise, placed third on balance beam and fourth on uneven bars.[15][16] Biles' placement in the Americna Classic secured her spot to compete at the 2012 Visa Championships.[15] She later competed at the 2012 Secret U.S. Classic in Chicago. She finished first all-around and on vault, second on floor exercise, and sixth on balance beam. In June, she made her second appearance at the Visa Championships, this time in St. Louis, Missouri. She finished third all-around, first on vault, and sixth on uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise.[14] After this performance, Biles was named to the United States Junior National Team.



Biles' senior international debut was in March at the 2013 American Cup, an FIG World Cup event. She and Katelyn Ohashi were named as replacements for Elizabeth Price and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kyla Ross, both of whom withdrew from the competition because of injuries.[17][18][19] Biles led for two rotations but finished second behind her teammate, Ohashi, after a fall off the beam.[20]


Biles immediately went on to compete at the 2013 City of Jesolo Trophy in Jesolo, Italy, where she took the all-around, vault, balance beam, and floor exercise titles in addition to contributing to the United States' team gold medal. She and the U.S. delegation then competed at an international tri-meet in Chemnitz, Germany, against teams from Germany and Romania. The U.S. again won the team gold. In addition, Biles won the vault, balance beam, and floor titles, but tied for second in the all-around behind Ross after a fall on the uneven bars.[14]


In July, Biles competed at the 2013 Secret U.S. Classic. She performed poorly, falling several times, and did not compete vault after tweaking her ankle on the floor exercise. Afterward, she was invited to a private camp with the national team coordinator, Marta Karolyi, and consulted a sports psychologist.[21] She went on to compete at the 2013 P&G Championships in August, where she was crowned the national all-around champion ahead of Ross. Biles also won silver on all four individual events.[14] After the P&G Championships, she was named to the Senior National Team and was invited to the qualifying camp for the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Texas, where she was named to the World Championships team.


In October, Biles competed at the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. She qualified first in the all-around, second to the vault final, sixth to the uneven bars final, fifth to the balance beam final, and first to the floor final, making her the first American gymnast to qualify to the all-around and all four event finals since Shannon Miller in 1991.[3] Biles competed cleanly during the women's individual all-around and won the competition with a score of 60.216, almost a point ahead of silver medalist Ross and almost a point and a half better than the bronze medalist, 2010 world all-around champion Mustafina.[3] Biles became the seventh American woman and the first African-American to win the world all-around title. In event finals, she won silver on the vault, behind defending world champion and Olympic silver medalist McKayla Maroney and ahead of 2008 Olympic gold medalist Hong Un Jong of North Korea; bronze on balance beam, behind Mustafina and Ross; and gold on the floor exercise, ahead of Italy's Vanessa Ferrari and Romania's Larisa Iordache. She finished fourth in the uneven bars final, behind China's Huang Huidan, Ross, and Mustafina.[24]


Biles missed the start of season due to an aggravated shoulder injury, sitting out the 2014 AT&T American Cup and the 2014 Pacific Rim Championships.[3][3] Her 2014 debut finally came at the Secret U.S. Classic in Chicago. She won the all-around by a wide margin and also took first place on vault, beam (tied with Ross), and floor.[3] At the 2014 P&G Championships, Biles repeated as national all-around champion after two days of competition, finishing more than four points ahead of silver medalist Ross, despite a fall from the balance beam during her final routine of the meet. She won the gold on vault and floor, tied for the silver on balance beam with Alyssa Baumann, and finished fourth on the uneven bars.[14] She was once again named to the Senior National Team.


On September 17, Biles was selected to compete at the 2014 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Nanning, China.[3] She dominated the preliminary round despite a major error on the uneven bars, qualifying in first place to the all-around, vault, beam, and floor finals, in addition to contributing to the U.S. team's first-place qualification into the team final. During the team final, Biles led the United States to its second consecutive world team championship, which they won over the second-place Chinese team by nearly seven points. In the all-around, Biles performed cleanly on all four events, bettering her bars score from qualifications by over a point, and won her second consecutive world all-around title ahead of two good friends, Ross and Iordache. Biles became the second American woman to repeat as world all-around champion, following Miller (1993 and 1994), and the first woman of any nationality to do so since Russia's Svetlana Khorkina (2001 and 2003).[24] She also received extra press when a video of her fleeing from a bee on the podium during the all-around award ceremony went viral.[3] Biles finished behind North Korea's Hong Un Jong in the vault competition, taking her second consecutive silver medal in that event, but went on to win the gold in the balance beam final ahead of China's Bai Yawen and the gold in the floor exercise final, again, ahead of Iordache. This brought her total of World Championship gold medals to six, the most ever by an American gymnast, surpassing Miller's five.[4] After the world championships, she was named one of ESPNW's Impact 25 and chosen as Sportswoman of the Year by the Women's Sports Foundation.[4][4]


Biles competed at the 2015 AT&T American Cup at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on March 7. She placed first with a score of 62.299, 4.467 points ahead of second-place finisher U.S. teammate Mykayla Skinner. Later that month, Biles was nominated for the James E. Sullivan Award.[4] She ended the month at the 2015 City of Jesolo Trophy, winning the all-around title with 62.100.[4]


On July 25, she competed at the Secret U.S. Classic and finished first in the all-around, ahead of 2012 Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas and Maggie Nichols, with a score of 62.400. On the beam, she scored a 15.250 and took first on the event, ahead of Douglas and 2012 Olympic beam bronze medalist Aly Raisman. She scored a 16.050 on the floor and claimed first on the event, 1.050 points ahead of Douglas and also ahead of Nichols and Bailie Key. She had a small hop on her Amanar vault and scored a 16.000. She then scored 15.150 on her second vault, to score an average of 15.575 and place first on the event, ahead of 2014 Worlds vault bronze medalist and teammate MyKayla Skinner, who averaged 14.950. Biles ended on bars and scored a 15.100 to claim the all-around title. She placed fourth on the event behind 2014 Worlds teammate Madison Kocian, Douglas, and Key.[4]


On July 29, shortly after her performance at the U.S. Classic, Biles announced that she would be turning pro, thus forfeiting her chance to compete for the UCLA Bruins gymnastics team. She signed with Octagon, who also supports fellow American gymnast Aly Raisman and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. At the 2015 U.S. National Championships, Biles secured her third all-around national title, becoming only the second woman to ever do so, 23 years after Kim Zmeskal (1990, 1991, 1992).[4]


Biles, along with Douglas, Brenna Dowell, Kocian, Nichols, Raisman, and Skinner, was selected to represent the United States at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. Biles once again qualified in first place to the all-around, vault, beam, and floor finals. Her uneven bars score would have qualified her in 8th place to that final as well, but she was excluded, as per the rules, after teammates Kocian and Douglas qualified ahead of her. In team finals, she helped the United States team win their third consecutive gold medal at a World Championships event.[4] During the all-around final, Biles performed below her usual standard, taking a large hop on vault, landing out of bounds on floor (which she stated was a first[4]), and grasping the beam to prevent a fall. However, her final score of 60.399 was more than enough to secure the title with her largest margin of victory yet (over a point ahead of silver medalist Gabby Douglas and bronze medalist Larisa Iordache).[4] With that victory, Biles became the first woman to win three consecutive all-around titles in World Gymnastics Championships history.[40] During day one of event finals, Biles competed on vault, taking bronze behind Maria Paseka (RUS) and Hong Un Jon (PRK). On day two, she competed on balance beam and floor exercise, retaining her world title on both events by large margins. This brought Biles' total World Championships medal count to 14, the most for any American, and total gold medal count to 10, the most for any woman in World Championships history.


As of November 11, 2015, she was a Nike-sponsored athlete – announcing this news through Twitter.[41]

Biles was named Team USA Female Olympic Athlete of the Year in December 2015, making her the fourth gymnast to win the honor.[42]


Biles went into the 2016 season as a fourth-year senior and the reigning National champion. On December 17, 2015, USA Gymnastics announced that she would compete at the 2016 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships, in April 2016 in Everett, Washington.[43]


On March 2, 2016, she announced through Twitter that she would be appearing on popular television talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show,[44] which was slated to air on March 7.[45]

At her first competition of the year, the Pacific Rim Championships, Biles came home with the all around title and had the highest score on vault (where she debuted a more difficult second vault), floor exercise (where she debuted a new floor routine), and balance beam. Additionally, the US came home with the team title by a wide margin. Biles did not compete in the event finals.


On June 4, Biles competed at the Secret US Classic, on the uneven bars and beam. She did not compete vault or floor exercise. She achieved the highest score on beam, a 15.650, and also received a 15.1 on bars, good enough for 5th on the event.


In the following weeks, Biles competed at the 2016 P&G Championships. Her vault and floor routines all received marks of at least sixteen all four times, and she received the national titles of both, respectively. On bars she scored 14.750 and an average of 14.925, just shy of a 15 average, and a bronze for the event. On beam she again did very well, with very minor struggles on Day 2, again winning another medal. She won the all-around title by a wide margin of 3.9 points over Aly Raisman. Her two-day total was 125 points even, with an all-around average of 62.5 points.

On July 10, Biles was named to the team for the 2016 Olympics, alongside Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman.[46]


Biles was nominated for a 2016 ESPY award for Best Female Athlete along with Elena Delle Donne, Katie Ledecky, and Breanna Stewart; Stewart won the award.[47]

Competitive history

2011CoverGirl Classic (Junior)  5  5
Visa Championships (Junior) 147221012
2012Secret U.S. Classic (Junior) 1st1st 62nd
Visa Championships (Junior) 3rd1st666
2013American Cup 2nd    
City of Jesolo Trophy1st1st1st 1st1st
USA-GER-ROM Tri-Meet1st2nd    
Secret U.S. Classic    78
P&G Championships 1st2nd2nd2nd2nd
World Championships 1st2nd43rd1st
2014Secret U.S. Classic 1st1st41st1st
P&G Championships 1st1st42nd1st
World Championships1st1st2nd 1st1st
2015American Cup 1st    
City of Jesolo Trophy1st1st1st 1st1st
Secret U.S. Classic 1st1st41st1st
P&G Championships 1st1st51st2nd
World Championships1st1st3rd 1st1st
2016Pacific Rim Championships1st1st    
Secret U.S. Classic   51st 
P&G Championships 1st1st41st1st
Olympic Trials 1st1st441st
2016 Olympic Games1st 1st