Rio Olympics Artistic Gymnastics Apparatus

Simone Biles

Simone Biles is widely considered to be the greatest gymnast of all-time which is pretty impressive, considering she’s still just a teenager. Entering the Rio Games, Biles had 14 World Championship medals, including 10 golds on her resume, but the world was eager to see how the 4'8" bundle of muscle and grace would perform on the biggest stage. If only they had been able to see the path she took to get to the there. We’ve all heard of the saying ”It takes a village to raise a child”, right? Well, sometimes it takes a village with a bigger family to raise an Olympic champion and that’s what Biles had. Ron and Nellie Biles are Simone’s grandparents by birth but they became her parents by necessity. The diminutive gymnast was born in Columbus, OH, the third of four children to Shanon Biles and Kelvin Clemons. However, when her biological father abandoned the family and her mother battled drug and alcohol addiction, Simone and her brother and sisters had to be placed in foster care. At the tender age of 3, Simone and her younger sister Adria left foster care, moving to Houston to be with their grandparents. Their older siblings, Ashley and Tevin, went to live with another relative. What began as a temporary solution became permanent in 2003 when their grandparents officially adopted Simone and Adria, creating a safe environment where the girls could grow and develop in a drug-free environment. The girls could also focus on their true passion which was gymnastics. In the Rio Olympics, the world watched as Simon dominated the stage, joining the likes of Mary Lou Retton, Shannon Miller, and Nastia Lukin by winning five medals in one Olympics. Her charismatic and megawatt smile on the podium left a lasting impression on fans across the globe. Biles was named by her teammates to carry the American flag in the closing ceremonies, capping an incredible experience for the small but powerful gymnast. Following the Olympics, Biles turned pro and immediately joined the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. She’s also been having fun with her teammates at various events across the county, including a visit to the White House, and various awards shows and charity outings. Wherever she goes and whatever she does, Simone can rest easier, knowing that Ron and Nellie Biles are watching, cheering, and supporting her.