By V. Hassun
It is no doubt that Simone Biles has not failed to surprise everyone in the world of sport, being an outstanding gymnast at only 24.
She has dominated the world gymnastic scene for several years, earning her nickname “The GOAT” – the Greatest Of All Time.
Holding several records among both men and women competitions, she continues to thrive, as she has the most world championship medals, 25, and the most gold medals, 19. She truly is a phenomenon, but what makes Biles’ achievements so exceptional is that at a young age, Biles had a mother who struggled with substance abuse.
Simone Biles and her three siblings had to go to the foster care system at a young age after their mother was unable to care for them. After a while, Biles was under the supervision of her grandparents, who immediately stepped in when it was decided that their mother could not reasonably handle the daily challenges of motherhood. She rose to the top of gymnastics around the time her grandfather adopted her.
At the start, Biles tried the sport as part of a field trip but immediately demonstrated tremendous potential to be a professional. She joined the national scene in 2012 with a win at the American Classic hosted in Huntsville, Texas, and joined the U.S. Junior National Team later that year.
Even though she had a rough start in life, she continued to suffer and had to overcome more difficulties. Biles took a year off from competitive gymnastics in 2017. She overcame physical adversity to manage to compete in the world championships a year after being hospitalized due to a kidney stone. Even this did not slow her down; she walked out of that competition with six medals, including four gold.
She also had some issues in the Olympics, which was delayed because of the Covid 19 pandemic. Biles began to have problems in the run-up games and ultimately had to withdraw from almost all competitions because of mental health issues. She was dealing with something known as the “twisties,” a crisis of confidence that causes gymnasts to lose a total sense of where their bodies are in mid-air.
In what would have been her darkest moment, Biles instead used the opportunity to shine and highlight an increased spotlight on athletes’ mental health. She bravely spoke out about her difficulties, proving that she is a phenomenon and a role model to many.