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Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Biles Goes The Extra Miles

Biles+Goes+The+Extra+Miles

Simone Biles once said, “I’d rather regret the risks that didn’t work out than the chances I didn’t take at all.” Now, Simone Biles is the most decorated gymnast of all time. Biles was born in Columbus, Ohio, on March 14, 1997. Both of her parents struggled with drug addiction and alcoholism. When Simone was very little, her biological father abandoned the family, and her biological mother, Shannon, did not believe she was in the right condition to care for Simone and her three siblings. After spending a decent amount of time in Foster Care, by the time Simone was 3, she and her younger sister Adria were adopted by Shannon’s father, Ron Biles, and his second wife, Nellie. Simone’s older brother and sister were adopted by Ron’s sister.

 

From the moment Simone was adopted, they could tell she was very active. She used her energy in any way she could; she also had a very natural type of strength. While Simone was in daycare, they took a field trip to a gym and were able to witness girls practicing gymnastics. Simone then began to do some of her own tricks. The coaches immediately noticed her talent and wrote a letter home suggesting that she start taking classes. She then began a training program at Bannon’s Gymnastix, where she was guided by Coach Aimee Borman. Between Simone’s energy and talent, everybody in that gym knew she was set out to become a champion.

 

Biles made her first appearance in 2011 at the junior national competition. As one of the youngest girls in the competition, she ended up placing third in the all-around competition and first on the Vault. Shortly after, Simone decided she wanted to fully commit. Due to this, she knew she had to make a sacrifice. At age 14, Biles decided to leave her public school and became homeschooled. From then on, she was able to participate in usual teenage activities and was also able to train from six to eight hours per day.

 

By age 15, she was just 4 months too young to compete in the 2012 Olympics. So she ended up making a senior international debut at the 2013 American Cup. Her strength stood out to everyone, especially on Vault. Competing for the United States, she took home the gold on vault, balance beam, floor exercise, and in the all-around. She then attended the 2013 US Classics, where she lost control on the balance beam and ended up falling during her floor routine, which is very rare for her. Due to this, Coach Borman was forced to pull her out of the meet. Biles then consulted a sports physiologist and attended a private training camp with the one and only, Marta Karolyi. She did not discuss many details with her, but she said, “Something clicked for me.” She learned to put the expectations of others out of her head and be in the moment of her performance.

 

In 2014, Biles and Coach Borman ended their relationship with Bannon’s Gymnastics. Ron and Nellie opened a new facility, the World Champions Centre, in Spring, Texas. This was where Biles and Borman trained. As I am sure you can imagine, Biles remained on top for a while. I won’t go into too much detail because we would be here forever, but in 2015, Biles decided to become a professional; therefore, she forfeited her opportunity to compete for UCLA.

 

The world was looking forward to seeing Biles compete at the 2020 Olympics, but the competition was postponed due to COVID-19. When the Olympics did take place, she had a new vault; a yurchenko double pike. She was the first woman in the world to compete with this vault. As she ran up to the table for her vault, she began twisting and immediately got lost in the air. Her coach said she had a case of the “Twisties.” This is when you do not know where you are in the air. This took a toll on her mentally, and she decided to withdraw herself from the Tokyo Olympics halfway through the competition. It took a lot to make the decision she did, and she realized shortly after it was the right one.

 

Simone Biles is now living her best life as of 2023. She is married to a well-known football player on the Green Bay Packers, Jonathan Owens, and she will be competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics, which will be her last Olympics. The world is psyched to watch her back in action for one final time. She surrounds herself with people who believe in her and love her. Biles has hit so many roadblocks, but nothing has stopped her from going for her dreams and making them a reality. “Surround yourself with the dreamers, the doers, the believers, and thinkers; but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you even when you don’t see it in yourself.” – Simone Biles.

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About the Contributor
Emma Magnotta, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Emma Magnotta and I am a freshman here at Danbury High School. I love writing and I am really looking forward to joining the Hatters Herald. I would like to go into journalism more during high school. I am very excited for my 4 years here at DHS! A fun fact about me is that I am a competitive gymnast. I can't wait to share my stories and different pieces with the newspaper.

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