Simone Biles: The Most Decorated Gymnast of All Time

Nonostante la sua giovane età, Biles è la ginnasta che ha vinto più medaglie nella storia. Con la solita grinta, ora si allena per raggiungere nuove mete durante le prossime Olimpiadi di Tokyo, dove continuerà a stupire il pubblico con i doppi salti mortali che solo lei riesce a fare.

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Daniel Francis

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US gymnast Simone Biles has achieved milestones in sport. Last October, she won five gold medals at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, becoming the most decorated athlete in the history of gymnastics, with a total of twenty-five gold medals. 

TALENT

Born in Colombus, Ohio, Biles and her three siblings spent periods of their childhood in foster care, before Biles was adopted by her grandparents. She showed extraordinary talent for gymnastics as a child, and was home-schooled while she completed her training. By the age of sixteen she had become a world all-around gymnastics champion. 

SIGNATURE MOVES

Just 4 feet 8 inches tall but powerfully built, twenty-two year-old Biles shows confidence and calm on the beam, the bars or the vault. Her ability to flip in the air and land with incredible ease impresses judges, and her floor exercise routines are outstanding. Biles even had two signature moves named after her: the Biles and Biles II. 

ME TOO

The gymnast has also shown great courage in other contexts. After taking a year’s break in 2017, citing the immense pressure of the sport, the following year she spoke out about having been sexually abused by the former US gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. At the time, Nassar was already serving a 175-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to seven counts of sexual assault of minors. He is accused of many more. 

POSITIVE ROLE MODEL 

Biles came back from this trauma stronger than ever. Her optimism, determination and drive are an inspiration to young athletes from all over the world. She also places emphasis on a balanced life however, and believes it is important to develop activities outside the gym. 

NEXT CHALLENGE

Having won four gold medals and one bronze at the last Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Biles is currently preparing for Tokyo 2020, which, she has said, will be her last Olympic Games. Everybody is looking forward to seeing what the brilliant and brave gymnast is capable of.

a perfect ten

SIMON BILES flag

At twenty-two years of age, the gymnast Simone Biles has broken every world record in the sport. The US gold medallist, who also holds Belize citizenship through her mother, is the most decorated gymnast of all time and a heroine for young athletes across the world. Resilient and focused, Biles emphasises the need to support oneself in a notoriously competitive sport: “I don’t follow in anyone’s footsteps,” she stated in a recent interview, “I make my own.” This summer, Biles will compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games before the expectant eyes of the world. She faces the competition, and the pressure, with remarkable self-confidence, determined to simply do her best, as she explained: 

Simone Biles (American accent): I don’t know, I guess I didn't really think of that...  in going into an Olympic year or a non-Olympic year, I never really feel like I'm a big name because everybody puts that on me, I don't put it on myself or I don't really pay attention. So going into every year I feel like I just try to be better than I was the year before.

SUPER SKILLS

SIMON BILES

Biles is a global superstar with two signature gymnastics moves named after her. She confessed just how much this means to her:
 
Simone Biles: I feel like, for me, getting the skills named after me is really exciting just to go out there and prove to myself that I can do them, especially under all of the pressure that will be there that night. So putting my name on a skill is really rewarding just because it'll be in the code forever, as well as the medals, but it's something that I can hold on to just because I’m the one that did it first. So it's really exciting.

HARD TIMES

In 2018, in a case that shocked the world, Biles joined other young gymnasts in accusing the former US gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse. It is important that we accept our vulnerability as a means to make us stronger, said Biles.

Simone Biles: It's really hard to talk about [it], I just feel like... I don't know, I don't mean to cry but it's just … it's hard coming here for an organisation and having had them failed us so many times. And we had one goal, we've done everything that they asked us for even when we didn't want to and they couldn't do one damn job… You had one job, you literally had one job and you couldn't protect us. And it’s just really sad because now every time I go to the doctor or training, I get worked on… it's like “I don't want to get worked on,” but my body hurts, I'm twenty-two and I have to go to therapy, but it's just hard and we try to work through it but it'll take some time. I’m strong, I'll get through it, but it's hard. 

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