Biles’ Big Break

Lauren Shields, Writer

She steps into an auditorium consumed by the roar of cheers, the lights are intense. Every gymnast works toward the potential of qualifying for the Olympics. For Simone Biles, qualifying is no longer the challenge. Biles is among the top athletes in the world. She competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Encyclopedia Britannica states, Biles “became the first female U.S. gymnast to win four gold medals at a single games.” Biles understands that the public will no longer overlook her, she is center stage as the greatest female gymnast in the world. 

Indeed, Biles is an incredible athlete and the dedication required to make it to her level of competition is excruciating. However, Biles has had additional odds against her in her career. Being an African American woman, she has suffered a significant level of adversity and trial. Because of her perseverance and spunk she had climbed to the top and continues to strive to break records and bend boundaries. Biles is an icon for all girls and women. Regardless of whether they’re striving for a gold medal, pursuing a degree or dreaming of a better life, she speaks to all. Biles is a woman who demands history to never forget the power of determination. As a black woman, she embodies a population of Americans who are underrepresented, especially in gymnastics. Thanks to women like Biles, this reality is changing.

Not only has Biles broken records for the number of gold medals achieved in female gymnastics, she is also the only gymnast in the world able to perform the triple twisting double somersault and the two back handsprings into a double twisting double somersault. Both of these skills have been named after her and were debuted in the 2019 World Championship. Their introduction shocked and amazed the audience and have since become a goal for other gymnasts to achieve. It is actually quite common for gymnasts to have skills named after then due to the ever-changing, dynamic nature of the sport. The factor that sets Biles apart is her success at this stage in her career. She is verging on her senior career as an athlete and still breaking boundaries in terms of awards and new skills. According to Journalist Justin Myers from The Guardian, “Since the 2016 Olympics, Biles has put a special emphasis on bringing new skills into the sport.” This goal is obvious when observing her performance and the scores that she receives from judges. Although, her coach states that her scores received at the 2019 World Championship were “Lower than she would have liked it to be,” when debuting her two new skills. Biles is anxious for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and is prepared to give the competition her all in pursuit of gold. 

The world watches in anticipation of Biles and her incredible skill. She not only speaks for the United States, she is the epitome of a powerful female figure. Her passion for gymnastics is evident in her charismatic smile and confident movements across all events. Athletes have the power to make the impossible appear possible. Biles is capable of this illusion but she chooses to speak openly about the trials and adversity she has faced in the process of her success. She provides a refreshing and relatable story about overcoming challenges. Biles’s story is one that inspires people across the world.