As the 2016 Olympics get under way, you’ll probably be hearing a lot about Simone Biles, if you haven’t already. The 19-year old has been making waves in the world of gymnastics and is predicted to win more than one gold medal for the U.S. team. And don’t be surprised if you hear her name in the adoption world, too – when she was five years old, she and her sister were adopted by her grandparents.
Biles was placed into the care of Nellie and Ron Biles, whom she recognizes as her parents, after her biological mother’s struggle with drug addiction. It wasn’t much later that they enrolled her in gymnastics, the perfect solution to her boundless energy.
Biles immediately loved to perform, and her joy shows through when she competes today. In fact, many people are taking notice of her for that reason. Commenting on her floor routine, the New York Times said she performed “as if she were dancing barefoot on the lawn of her backyard, with no one watching.”
Of course, her journey to this point has not been without some rough spots. Going into high school, she made a difficult decision to be homeschooled, which would give her more flexibility to fit in a rigorous training regimen. While the hard work and the sacrifice of a typical high school life took an emotional toll on her at times, Biles asserts that she made exactly the right decision.
Biles attributes a great deal of success to the support of her trainer and her parents. While she is in contact with her biological mother and sees her from time to time, she has always considered Nellie and Ron to be her mom and dad. And you can be sure they will be right by her side as she makes waves in Rio this summer – tune into the 2016 Summer Olympics to watch Simone Biles dominate the world of gymnastics and represent adoptees everywhere!