Simone Biles became just the second woman in 40 years to win four consecutive national U.S. gymnastics titles, setting the stage for a potential gold medal haul at this year’s Summer Olympics. All eyes will be on Biles as she takes to the world stage in Rio, with some experts saying she could walk away with five gold medals at the games.
Biles, 19, completed her latest feat last Sunday in St. Louis as the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Joan Moore Gnat achieved the impressive feat first between the years of 1971 and 1974. Ever since the historic wins by fellow Team USA gymnastics teammate Gabby Douglas in the 2012 Summer Olympics, all eyes have been on both her and Biles.
While the pressure would crush most people, Biles doesn’t seem moved by all of the attention and expectations heaped upon her. The ice-cold Spring, Texas native treats gymnastics as a second nature as she continues to push herself to the limits.
Outgoing national team coach Martha Karolyi believes this year’s team is better than the last and her husband, Bela, who coached Mary Lou Retton and Nadia Comaneci, said the Biles among the top gymnasts ever. Retton is a fan as well.
Biles success at such high levels has not been without some personal challenges. In her early childhood she and her sister, Adria, were place in foster care due to her drug-addicted mother. She and her sister were adopted by their maternal grandparents along with two older siblings. It was they who entered the future superstar into gymnastics in 2003.