Simone Biles is the Queen of the gymnastics world. At the young age of just 25, the gymnast is recognized as the greatest of all time in the history of her sport. This makes one wonder at what age did she start training? How many hours did she train to claim the highest spot on the list?
But before we dig deeper into her career, here is a little background about her early childhood. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Simone Biles was forced to spend the early years of her childhood in foster care due to her biological parent’s inability to financially support their children. Later, Biles and her sister, Adria, were adopted by their maternal grandfather, Ron, and his wife, Nellie. The couple provided a secure childhood and helped a young Simone Biles achieve her dreams.
Simone Biles has always been an active and energetic child – running and jumping around whenever she could. At the age of six, Biles was taken to a gym during a daycare field trip. On this trip, a young Biles was mesmerized by the teenage girls doing gymnastics. It didn’t take long for her to imitate the moves of the teenagers practicing.
However, while young $imoney was engrossed in her own world, the coaches took notice of what she was doing. Impressed by her skills, they wrote a letter to her parents, Ron and Nellie, suggesting regular gymnastics classes for Biles.
Following the advice of the coaches, Simone Biles was soon enrolled in Houston’s, Bannon’s Gymnastix center. Under the mentorship of Aimee Boorman, Biles soon became the star of the academy. However, shortly after, the young prodigy was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As the name suggests, this disorder hindered Biles’ ability to focus on studies in school and training at the gym.
However, with the help of her mother and the prescribed stimulant Ritalin, Biles was able to overcome her first obstacle. Sitting down with her mother, planning her activities for the upcoming year, and keeping a track of her progress helped increase her focus on her studies as well as sports. However, this was just the first of the many obstacles that the young gymnast would face in the future, but she didn’t know that at the time.
Entering competitions and making sacrifices
In 2011, Simone Biles entered her first junior national competition. She secured the first position in the vault and placed third in the all-around competition at the 2011 American Classic in Houston. However, the huge success and probable bright future in the sport called for a huge sacrifice. At the age of 14, Simone Biles gave up her school and social life to focus on her training.
Since then Biles began homeschooling and practicing for six to eight hours a day. Her big sacrifice and determination did not go to waste and she once again succeeded at the 2012 American Classic. Biles once again came first in the vault, followed by first in all-around competition too. Additionally, she tied for second place in the floor exercise and third on the balance beam.
The same year, she secured a second position in floor exercise, and first in all-round and vault, at the 2012 U.S. Classic. Following this, she secured the first position in the vault at the USA Gymnastics National Championships. This earned her a recommendation to the United States Junior National Team, which brought her one step closer to claiming her proverbial crown.
First injury, break, and international title
In 2012, 15-year-old Biles couldn’t compete in the Olympics due to her young age. In 2013, Simone Biles made her senior international team debut at the American Cup held in Jesolo, Italy. Here she won two gold medals on the balance beam, vault, floor exercise, and all-around. Shortly after, she once again clinched the victory at Chemnitz, Germany.
Unfortunately, her flourishing career came to an unexpected temporary halt when Biles sustained her first injury in 2013. After losing balance on the beam, and falling during the floor exercise, coach Boorman with no choice but to pull Biles out of the then-upcoming contest, which was the 2013 U.S. Classic.
However, turning disasters into opportunities, Biles took this time to train under renowned coach, Marta Karolyi. Within three weeks of training, Biles made a spectacular comeback by winning at the USA Gymnastics National Championships. This earned her a spot on the senior national team.