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Simone Biles Owens
Simone Biles Rio 2016e.jpg
Personal information
Full name Simone Arianne Biles Owens
Born (1997-03-14) March 14, 1997 (age 26)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Hometown Spring, Texas, U.S.
Residence Spring, Texas, U.S.
Spouse Jonathan Owens (m. 2023)
Height 4 ft 8 in (142 cm)
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior international elite
Years on national team 2012–2016
2018–2021
2023–present (USA)
Gym World Champions Centre (current)
Bannon's Gymnastix Inc. (2003–2014)
Head coach(es) Laurent Landi
Cecile Canqueteau-Landi
Former coach(es) Aimee Boorman
Choreographer Sasha Farber
Eponymous skills Biles (6.4) (vault):
Yurchenko half on–straight front salto double twist off
Biles (H) (balance beam): double-twisting double tucked salto dismount
Biles (G) (floor exercise): double layout salto half out
Biles II (J) (floor exercise): triple-twisting double tucked salto (aka "triple double")
Medal record
Representing  United States
Olympic rings.svg
Women's artistic gymnastics
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
Olympic Games 4 1 2
World Championships 19 3 3
Pacific Rim Championships 2 0 0
Olympic Games
Gold 2016 Rio de Janeiro Team
Gold 2016 Rio de Janeiro All-around
Gold 2016 Rio de Janeiro Vault
Gold 2016 Rio de Janeiro Floor exercise
Silver 2020 Tokyo Team
Bronze 2016 Rio de Janeiro Balance beam
Bronze 2020 Tokyo Balance beam
World Championships
Gold 2013 Antwerp All-around
Gold 2013 Antwerp Floor exercise
Gold 2014 Nanning Team
Gold 2014 Nanning All-around
Gold 2014 Nanning Balance beam
Gold 2014 Nanning Floor exercise
Gold 2015 Glasgow Team
Gold 2015 Glasgow All-around
Gold 2015 Glasgow Balance beam
Gold 2015 Glasgow Floor exercise
Gold 2018 Doha Team
Gold 2018 Doha All-around
Gold 2018 Doha Vault
Gold 2018 Doha Floor exercise
Gold 2019 Stuttgart Team
Gold 2019 Stuttgart All-around
Gold 2019 Stuttgart Vault
Gold 2019 Stuttgart Balance beam
Gold 2019 Stuttgart Floor exercise
Silver 2013 Antwerp Vault
Silver 2014 Nanning Vault
Silver 2018 Doha Uneven bars
Bronze 2013 Antwerp Balance beam
Bronze 2015 Glasgow Vault
Bronze 2018 Doha Balance beam
Pacific Rim Championships
Gold 2016 Everett Team
Gold 2016 Everett All-around
FIG World Cup
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
All-Around World Cup 2 1 0

Simone Arianne Biles (/sɪˈmn ˈbəlz/; born March 14, 1997) is an American artistic gymnast. Her seven Olympic medals tied with Shannon Miller for the most Olympic medals won by an American gymnast. Having won 25 World Championship medals, she is the most decorated gymnast in history and is considered by many sources to be the greatest gymnast of all time. In 2022, Biles was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Joe Biden.

Early life and education

Biles was born on March 14, 1997, in Columbus, Ohio, the third of four siblings. Her birth mother, Shanon Biles, could not care for Simone or her siblings – Adria, Ashley, and Tevin. All four went in and out of foster care.

In 2000, Biles' maternal grandfather, Ron Biles, and his second wife, Nellie Cayetano Biles, began temporarily caring for Simone and her siblings in the north Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, after learning that their grandchildren had been in foster care. In 2003, the couple officially adopted Simone and her younger sister Adria. Ron's sister, Shanon's aunt Harriet, adopted the two oldest children. Biles holds Belizean citizenship through her adoptive mother and refers to Belize as her second home. Biles and her family are Catholic.

Biles attended Benfer Elementary School in Harris County. In 2012, Biles chose to switch from public school to home school, allowing her to increase her training from approximately 20 to 32 hours per week. She gained all of her secondary education as a homeschooler, graduating in mid-2015. On July 29, 2015, she announced that she would turn professional rather than attending and competing for UCLA.

Gymnastics career

Pre-elite

Biles first tried gymnastics at age 6 during a daycare field trip. The instructors suggested she continue with gymnastics. Biles soon enrolled in an optional training program at Bannon's Gymnastics. She began training with coach Aimee Boorman at age eight.

Junior

Biles began her elite career at age 14 on July 1, 2011. She competed through 2011 and 2012 and was named to the U.S. Junior National Team.

Senior

Biles' senior international debut was in March at the 2013 American Cup, a FIG World Cup event. She competed in Italy, Germany, and Belgium. In the U.S., she competed in the U.S. Classic and the Gymnastics National Championships. Biles was named to the Senior National Team. In October 2013, Biles had surgery for bone spurs in her right tibia bone, which took her out of competitions for three weeks.

In 2014, Biles missed the start of the season due to a shoulder injury. She began the year at the U.S. Classic in Chicago. Simone competed in the USA Gymnastics National Championships and the 2014 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in China.

In 2015, Simone competed at the AT&T American Cup, the U.S. Classic, the U.S. National Championships, and the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

In April 2016, Biles began her season at the Pacific Rim Championships but did not compete in the event finals. On June 4, she competed at the Secret U.S. Classic in two events, and later in the year she competed in the 2016 U.S. National Championships. On July 10, she was named to the team for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, alongside Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, and Aly Raisman. In September 2016, Biles' medical information was released, and she was accused of doping to make herself perform better. Biles admitted that she has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and received special permission to take medication for it.

2016 Summer Olympics

Biles appeared with gymnasts Dominique Dawes and Nadia Comăneci in a commercial for Tide called "The Evolution of Power" before the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Biles competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics
Balance Beam
Uneven Bars
Floor Exercise

On August 7, Biles competed in the Women's Qualification at the 2016 Summer Olympics. On August 9, she won her first Olympic gold medal in the gymnastics team event. She was the only gymnast for Team USA to compete in all four events in the final: vault, bars, beam, and floor. The American team won the gold medal.

SimoneBiles3HomecomingParade24Aug2016
A homecoming parade for Biles in Spring, Texas on August 24, 2016

Biles won four gold medals during the 2016 Summer Olympics, setting an American record for most gold medals in women's gymnastics at a single games. Biles joined Mary Lou Retton in 1984, Shannon Miller in 1992, and Nastia Liukin in 2008 in winning five women's gymnastics medals at a single Olympiad. Biles won four gold medals and one bronze medal.

Biles was chosen by Team USA to be the flag bearer in the closing ceremonies, becoming the first American female gymnast to receive this honor.

Hiatus

Simone Biles with VOA's Ramon Taylor
Simone Biles with VOA's Ramon Taylor in 2018

Biles did not compete in 2017. After the 2016 Rio Games, she co-wrote an autobiography with journalist Michelle Burford, Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance. She also competed on season 24 of Dancing with the Stars, finishing in fourth place.

In August, during the 2017 P&G National Championships, Biles said that she had returned to the gym to start conditioning. Her longtime coach, Aimee Boorman, had moved to Florida with her family; in October Biles hired coach Laurent Landi, who had coached her Olympic teammate Madison Kocian.

Return to competition

In 2018, Biles was added back to the National Team. She competed at the U.S. Classic in July, the 2018 National Championships in August, the 2018 Youth Olympics, and World Team Selection Camp in October. In late October, at the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, Biles went to an emergency room the night before the qualification round because of stomach pains that turned out to be a kidney stone. After confirming that it was not appendicitis, she checked herself out of the hospital. Biles qualified the next day and competed in the World Championships. Biles became the first U.S. gymnast and first non-Soviet gymnast to win a medal on every event at a single World Championships.

Joe Thomas and Simone Biles (48250635326)
Biles at the 2019 All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game

In 2019, Biles competed at the Stuttgart World Cup, the 2019 GK US Classic, the 2019 U.S. National Gymnastics Championships, and the 2019 World Championships, in which she won five gold medals (team, all-around, vault, beam, and floor).

In February 2020, Biles was chosen to represent the United States at the Tokyo World Cup which would take place on April 4. However, because of the newly discovered COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, the event was canceled. The 2020 Summer Olympics were also postponed.

In 2021, Biles competed at the U.S. Classic and the U.S. National Championships. She earned a spot on the 2020 Olympic team. (The 2020 Olympics were held from July 23 - August 8, 2021.)

2020 Summer Olympics

Biles did not perform well during the qualification rounds and stated on Instagram that she was "[feeling] the weight of the world on [her] shoulders" and that she felt affected by the pressure of the Olympics. She withdrew from the women's team final after receiving a low score in the vault portion of the competition, saying she was having mental health issues. Biles withdrew from all except the balance beam final. Biles explained that the main reason she withdrew was because she was experience the "the twisties," a name for the feeling a gymnast gets when performing twists. She performed an easier version of her routine in the beam final and won the bronze medal. She called her bronze beam medal her most meaningful one, as she felt it symbolized her focus on mental health and her perseverance. Biles later revealed that her aunt had passed unexpectedly two days before the beam event final.

Some people criticized Biles. They accused her of being a "quitter" or robbing another athlete of the chance to compete since she withdrew so late in the competition. Others supported her decision.

2023

At the 2023 U.S. Classic, Biles competed all four events for an all-around score of 59.100. At the National Championships Biles won her eighth national all-around title, breaking the record of Al Jochim, who won seven titles on national level, the last one in 1933. Additionally Biles became the oldest woman to win the title at 26 years and 166 days old; she surpassed Linda Metheny Mulvihill, who was 24 and 100 days in 1971.

Sponsors and endorsements

In 2015, Biles signed with the Octagon sports agency, Nike, GK Elite Sportswear, and Core Power. In August 2016, Kellogg's put the Final Five's picture on the Gold Medal Edition of Special berries. After the 2016 Rio games, Biles signed deals to endorse Procter & Gamble, The Hershey Company, United Airlines, and Spieth America. She agreed to become a spokesperson for Mattress Firm's program of supporting foster homes and for Beats By Dr Dre. In 2018, she worked with Caboodles to create and market products for women with active lifestyles. In April 2021, Biles announced that she was leaving Nike for a new apparel sponsorship with the Gap's Athleta brand.

Personal life

Biles was in a relationship with fellow gymnast Stacey Ervin Jr from August 2017 to March 2020.

She has been in a relationship with professional American football player Jonathan Owens since August 2020. Biles announced her engagement to Owens on February 15, 2022. They married on April 22, 2023.

Awards

CVN80 First Cut of Steel (36828380355)
Biles signs a 35-ton steel plate alongside Katie Ledecky and NNS president Jennifer Boykin to signal the start of construction of the USS Enterprise
P20220707AS-1273 (52308684538)
Biles awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Joe Biden in July 2022
  • Team USA Female Olympic Athlete of the Year (December 2015)
  • sponsors of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (December 2016)
  • Glamour Award for the Record Breaker (2016)
  • One of BBC's 100 Women (2016)
  • Sportswoman of the Year (2016)
  • ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete (2017)
  • Shorty Awards for the best in sports (2017)
  • Favorite female athlete in the Teen Choice Awards (2017)
  • Laureus World Sports Award for Sportswoman of the Year (2017, 2019, and 2020)
  • Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement (2017)
  • Arthur Ashe Courage Award (2018)
  • People's Choice Award for The Game Changer of 2019 (2019)
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom (2022)

Skills

Simone Biles at the 2016 Olympics all-around gold medal podium (28262782114)
Biles at the 2016 Olympics all-around podium

Selected competitive skills

Biles is well known for performing difficult skills at a high level of execution. Her 2018 routine on the vault and her 2019 routine on floor exercise are the most difficult ever performed in women's artistic gymnastics. As of 2019, she was the only gymnast to have competed in four skills valued at H or higher in the 2017–2021 Code of Points on floor exercise.

Skills Simone Biles performed in her senior career (E-rated and higher):

Apparatus Name/Skill Description Difficulty Performed
Vault López Yurchenko ½-on entry, layout salto forwards with ½ twist off (aka "½ on–½ off") 5.2 2013–15
Amanar Yurchenko entry, layout salto backwards with 2½ twists 5.8 2013–21
Cheng Yurchenko ½-on entry, layout salto forwards with 1½ twists off (aka "½ on–1½ off") 6.0 2016–21
Biles Yurchenko ½-on entry, layout salto forwards with 2 twists off (aka "½ on–double full off") 6.4 2018
Yurchenko double piked Round off–back handspring entry on, double piked salto backward off 6.6|2021
Uneven bars Piked Tkatchev Counter reverse piked hecht over high bar E 2013, 2015–21
Van Leeuwen Toe-on Shaposhnikova transition with ½ twist to high bar 2018–21
Fabrichnova Dismount: Double-twisting (2/1) double tucked salto backwards F 2018–21
Balance beam Front pike Piked salto forwards to cross stand E 2018
Layout Layout salto backward with legs together (to two feet) 2013
Mitchell 1080° (3/1) turn in tuck stand on one leg 2018–21
Double pike Dismount: Double piked salto backward 2021
Barani Jump forward with ½ twist to tucked salto backward F 2015–18
Full-in Dismount: Full-twisting (1/1) double tucked salto backwards G 2013–21
Biles Dismount: Double-twisting (2/1) double tucked salto backwards H 2019, 2021
Floor exercise Mitchell 1080° (3/1) turn in tuck stand on one leg E 2021
Mukhina Full-twisting (1/1) double-tucked salto backward 2013–21
Double layout Double layout salto backward F 2014
Biles Double layout salto with ½ twist G 2013–21
Silivas Double-twisting (2/1) double-tucked salto backward H 2013–21
Chusovitina Full-twisting (1/1) double layout salto backward 2015–16, 2019
Moors Double-twisting (2/1) double layout salto backward I 2018
Biles II Triple-twisting (3/1) double-tucked salto backward J 2019–21

Eponymous skills

Biles's named elements on the vault, balance beam, and floor exercise introduced during the 2017–2021 quad are the most difficult elements on each apparatus (the Biles on beam, Biles on vault, and Biles II on the floor). As of 2019, she is the sole gymnast to have performed any of these skills in a FIG international competition. In May 2021, she became the first woman to complete a Yurchenko double piked on the vault during competition.

Apparatus Name Description Difficulty Competition Completed
Vault Biles Yurchenko ½ on entry–forward layout salto double twist 6.4 2018 World Championships
Yurchenko entry–double-piked salto backward 6.6 Awaiting successful completion in international competition.
Balance beam Biles Backward double-twisting (2/1) double tucked salto dismount H (0.8) 2019 World Championships
Floor exercise Backward double layout salto ½ twist out G (0.7) 2013 World Championships
Biles II Backward triple-twisting (3/1) double tucked salto J (1.0) 2019 World Championships

Competitive history

Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
Junior
2011 American Classic 3 1 8 1 4
U.S. Classic 20 5 5
U.S. National Championships 14 7 22 10 12
2012 U.S. Classic 1 1 6 2
U.S. National Championships 3 1 6 6 6
Senior
2013 American Cup 2
City of Jesolo Trophy 1 1 1 1 1
Chemnitz Friendly 1 2 1 1 1
U.S. Classic 7 8
U.S. National Championships 1 2 2 2 2
World Championships N/A 1 2 4 3 1
2014 U.S. Classic 1 1 4 1 1
U.S. National Championships 1 1 4 2 1
World Championships 1 1 2 1 1
2015 American Cup 1
City of Jesolo Trophy 1 1 1 1 1
U.S. Classic 1 1 4 1 1
U.S. National Championships 1 1 5 1 2
World Championships 1 1 3 1 1
2016 Pacific Rim Championships 1 1
U.S. Classic 5 1
U.S. National Championships 1 1 4 1 1
Olympic Trials 1 1 4 4 1
Olympic Games 1 1 1 3 1
2017 did not compete
2018 U.S. Classic 1 10 1 1
U.S. National Championships 1 1 1 1 1
Worlds Team Selection Camp 1 1 2 4 1
World Championships 1 1 1 2 3 1
2019 Stuttgart World Cup 1
U.S. Classic 1 5 3 1
U.S. National Championships 1 1 3 1 1
Worlds Team Selection Camp 1 1 4 2 1
World Championships 1 1 1 5 1 1
2020 did not compete due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 U.S. Classic 1 15 1 1
U.S. National Championships 1 1 3 1 1
Olympic Trials 1 1 3 3 1
Olympic Games 2 WD WD WD 3 WD
2022 did not compete
2023 U.S. Classic 1 3 1 1
U.S. National Championships 1 3 1 1

Simone Biles quotes

  • "The unexpected is usually what brings the unbelievable."
  • "I always say my biggest competitor is myself."
  • "It doesn’t matter what you look like. You can strive for greatness, and you can be great."
  • "If you aren’t committed to training, conditioning, and practice, you aren’t committed to being your best."
  • "Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal."
  • "Today, do what others won’t so tomorrow you can accomplish what others can’t."

Interesting facts about Simone Biles

  • Simone is the most decorated female gymnast in America.
  • Simone's sister Adria is a gymnast as well.
  • In the 2016 Summer Olympics, Biles was the shortest of all 555 athletes representing the United States.
  • She has four difficult gymnastics moves named after her.
  • She loves pizza and treats herself to a pepperoni pizza after each gymnastics meet.
  • Simone owns her own emoji named "Simoji."
  • Simone Biles’s fiancé didn’t know who she was when they started dating.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Simone Biles para niños

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