Simone Biles hasn’t won an Olympic gold medal yet, but that hasn’t stopped everyone in the gymnastics community from noticing just how great the Olympic gymnast really is.
After winning the U.S. Olympic trials on Sunday night, Biles made the Olympic team and guaranteed herself a shot at winning an Olympic title. It won’t be long before Simone Biles becomes a household name as the entire world watches Biles compete at the Olympic Games.
Get to know USA Gymnastics standout Simone Biles with the five fast facts below.
1) Olympic greats think Simone Biles is the best ever.
American Olympic champions Mary Lou Retton and Shawn Johnson have both called Simone the best gymnast in the history of the sport. And no, Retton doesn’t believe Biles needs the Olympic titles to be given the greatest-ever label — because Retton is just that certain that Biles will win in Rio de Janeiro.
“Just when we thought we were at the physical limit of the sport, then here comes Simone Biles,” Retton said on Saturday night at the Parade of Olympians event at the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team trials. “She’s the best I’ve ever seen. When she shows up in Rio, she’ll have those titles. She has a special, unique quality no one else has.”
By winning the Olympic Trials all-around, @Simone_Biles, the best there is, is going to the Olympic Games.
— David Barron (@dfbarron) July 11, 2016
2) Biles is dominant on the international scene.
Though she has yet to earn an Olympic title, Biles has proven that she’s got the ability to earn gold. The 19-year-old has won gold in the all-around at the last three consecutive world championships, and in June she successfully defended her national title to win her fourth title in a row.
3) Biles got started in gymnastics by chance.
Simone Biles’ mother never planned on putting her daughter in gymnastics, but when she was six-years-old a day-care outing got re-routed because of weather. Instead of heading to a ranch, her day-care group headed to a gym, instead.
Biles was hooked from the moment she walked in the door, she said, and coach Aimee Boorman quickly noticed Biles’ talent. The rest is history, and Boorman is still her coach today.
SHE IS GOING TO RIO!????????
— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) July 11, 2016
4) When she’s not competing, Biles tries to lead a normal life.
Outside of the gym, Biles has responsibilities, chores, and interests, just like any other teenage girl. Her chores include feeding her four German shepherds, doing the dishes, and cleaning her room, according to the Washington Post.
And when she’s not keeping up with her responsibilities around her home, Biles enjoys watching Netflix, listening to Justin Bieber, and shopping. Her biggest crush? Zac Efron.
If it sounds like Simone Biles is a normal girl, that’s because she is, her older brother, Adam Biles, told the Washington Post.
“The most remarkable thing about my sister is how normal she is. Actually, that’s probably the most remarkable thing about our family. We don’t know what famous people are supposed to do, act like or what we are expected to be. So when you see Simone out there competing on the floor, and she’s happy and smiling and making little colorful comments and remarks, that’s genuinely her.”
5) Biles chose to be home-schooled in order to pursue her Olympic dream.
At 14-years-old, it came time to decide between a social life with her public school classmates and her dream of becoming an elite gymnast. Because of the time-intensive requirements of training at an elite level, Simone wouldn’t have been able to attend public school and train sufficiently at the same time.
Biles struggled with the decision to choose homeschooling, she said. She sought advice from her adoptive mother, who refused to make the choice for her.
Eventually, Biles made the decision to pursue her passion for gymnastics, though the choice didn’t come easily, she said, and there were several days when she cried nonstop.
The decision ultimately paid off though, as Biles officially qualified for the 2016 Olympic team Sunday night.
Are you excited to watch Simone Biles perform in at the Rio Olympics? Why or why not?
[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images Sport]