Simone Biles' Parents Are Her Biggest Supporters & They've Proved It In So Many Ways
Olympic gymnast Simone Biles is at the top of her career. Not only is she bubbly and fun and sweet, but her gym skills are unparalleled, and the best artistic gymnast in the world is breaking records and breaking ground. But just where does all that confidence and strength come from in such a tiny, 19-year-old, 4'9" package? Simone Biles' parents have a lot to do with it.
Biles track record is beyond impressive, with three U.S. and world all-around gold medals, the Texas native is the favorited to bring home gold from Rio this summer. Her routines are extremely complex, and with her extraordinary skill she is changing the competition one flip at a time. And with that comes a mounting pressure that most teenagers would never even have the chance to experience. So how does Biles not crack?
In an interview with CNN, Biles discussed her home life and how it's effected the way she competes. "[Mom] encourages me and never lets me feel down about something for too long," Biles told CNN. "If I've had a bad day at the gym or need emotional support, she was always there."
That home life has been anything but easy, and she has overcome a lot. After being taken from her mother, who was battling drug and alcohol addition, and put into foster care at a young age, Simone was adopted by her grandfather, Ron Biles, and his wife, Nellie, who she refers to as dad and mom. According to the Chicago Tribune, Ron is an air-traffic controller and Nellie is a former nurse.
Biles took part in Procter & Gamble's "Thank You, Mom" campaign, and told CNN of her mom, "The film reminded me to fully appreciate my mom and the strength she provides me through her unconditional love and support." She continued, "She always told me that although I am small, that doesn't limit my power or define me. For me, I don't think about size — I focus more on being powerful and confident."
That seems to be the family motto, even when Biles was only 16 years old and winning world championships. After her first gold in Italy in 2013, the family faced insult and racism from international competitors. The response from the Biles family was unapologetic, not understanding how such racism could come from a such a highly competitive environment. Biles' mother Nellie told USA Today, "It did bother [Simone]. I told her, 'Don't get roped into this' and, 'Don't let those comments ruin this moment for you. Just be proud of your performance and outcome.'" Biles' father also said, "I found it very insulting. The racial comment was really out of line," and that after getting back to work, "[Simone]'s not fazed by it."
So, whether the Biles are encouraging or even protecting, Simone is in good, strong hands with her parents by her side for her first Olympics. They are a bastion to look up to, and when Biles gets balanced on the floor in Rio, you can bet her parents will be sitting right there in the stands, cheering on the world's best gymnast, who just so happens to be their daughter.