Meet Simone Biles the 19-Year-Old Gymnast Lighting the Olympics on Fire

Events

You can’t tell when she’s on the mat, but Simone Biles stands at a miniscule 4-foot-9-inches tall.
As the world gears up for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team is hard at work in their quest for the gold. Every four years, a strange spotlight falls onto the women’s gymnastics team, which is consistently one of the most-watched and most-competitive events in any Olympics game.
In a world dominated by male athletes, the women’s gymnastics team has inspired countless young girls to discover gymnastics for kids, signing up for gymnastics classes at local academies all over the country.
And while few people know her name, yet, gymnastics experts say she’s poised to become the breakout star of the Rio Summer Games. And in June, Simone Biles finally stepped into the spotlight in a big way. That’s because Biles just set a major record at one of the biggest gymnastics events outside of the Olympics; not exactly gymnastics for kids.
At the PandG Championships in St. Louis this June, Simone Biles became the first woman since 1974 to take home four all-around national titles in a row, and her nearly flawless floor routine went viral in media outlets all over the country.
Every four years gymnastics classes see a surge in enrollment as little girls beg their parents to sign them up for local gymnastics classes, and it looks like Simone Biles is set to become the face of the 2016 summer games. After seeing her most recent championship performance, any dance academy that offers gymnastics for kids should start preparing for another summer surge in interest.
Like Gabby Douglas, Biles is a young black woman with a big smile and even bigger moves, regularly turning in truly impressive feats of athleticism. Even more impressive? She’s just 19-year-old and set to become a gold medalist.
Here’s how Jezebel described the teenage star: “Biles is not only killing it, but also has a carefree aura about her that seems to astonish people who consider gymnasts to be traditionally stoic and joyless.”

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