World athletes are beginning to head to Rio tor the 2016 Olympic Games as they prepare for the opening ceremony on Aug. 5. This year, Team USA made history with the most women on any Olympic roster ever, including celebrated gymnast Simone Biles, who landed a cover spot for Time magazine this week. Biles is a first-time Olympian at the 2016 games, but at 19 years old, she has already accomplished an astounding amount.
Biles has won three world championships in a row; she is a four-time all-around champion; and she has already won 14 world medals in her 13 years of gymnastics. It's only fitting that with all her accomplishments thus far — and now, as she heads to the Olympics — she would land the cover of Time.
According to the Time cover story, Nastia Liukin, an American gymnast who won the all-around gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics said Biles is "in a caliber with nobody else in the world, really. Nobody is even close to her."
For that reason, Biles shared with the magazine that the tension is high, as are the world's expectations. "I feel like it’s harder because everyone knows I’m the three-time world champion. It’s almost like people are waiting for something bad to happen," she told Time.
Biles was first enrolled in a gymnastics class when she was 6 years old. Her parents, who adopted Biles and her sister in 2003, first enrolled her at a gym in Houston, Texas. Her mother, Nellie, spoke to People about her daughter's dedication to the sport, telling them, "[Simone] never missed a practice. Even if she was sick, I would tell her she should stay home and she would say 'No, I have to go to practice!'"
Time describes Biles as a fearless, dedicated, and personable athlete, noting how she jokes and tells stories with her teammates during practices, but is always "in the zone." Biles will be attempting the most difficult beam dismount of all the gymnasts heading to Rio, according to Time. Known as a full twisting double back, Biles first tried the move during a practice and had it captured on video, telling her coach, "Bring out your camera, because I’m only doing it once, and if I die I want it recorded," Time reported.
As Rio quickly approaches, get ready to see Biles make her way to the Olympic floor for the first time, and likely add a few more medals to her list. I'm hoping for the gold.