Olympic athlete Simone Biles has been called the best gymnast in the world after her continuously stellar performances. She’s a four-time US champion and a three-time world champion who’s won a record breaking 14 world championship medals. 10 of those medals are gold. Simone is expected to win the all-around gold medal before the 2016 Rio Olympics are finished, possibly with multiple other gold medals. But things weren’t always looking up for her.
Drugs were a dark turning point in the life of young Simone Biles, although not in the way one might initially think. Her mother, Shanon Biles, suffered from a drug addiction and felt unable to raise her children properly. This was especially difficult being a single mother – Simone’s father was reportedly never in her life. The Biles children spent four years being shuffled through various foster care programs, sometimes at home. Simone’s biological grandparents, Ron and Nellie Biles, officially adopted her in 2003. All of the Biles children were adopted by relatives.
At 6 years old Simone began to show an interest in gymnastics, and her adoptive parents enrolled her in a program. After her talent was spotted by one of the coaches, Aimee Boorman, the former competitive gymnast became Simone’s personal coach. She began competing in 2011, training around 20 hours a week. The next year she moved from public school to being homeschooled, and she increasing her training time to over 30 hours a week.
In an interview with TMZ, Shanon Biles said she’s been clean since 2007 and is on good terms with her daughter. She’s cheering Simone on in the 2016 Rio Olympics, who already has one gold medal from the gymnastics team event. The 19-year-old gymnast is on the fast track to being the best in the world, according to Independent Journal Review.