At 19 years old, gymnast Simone Biles is already a three-time, all-round world champion, but this summer marks her first debut at the Olympic Games.
She’ll travel to Rio as the overwhelming favorite, with the chance to take home as many as five gold medals. For the 4-foot-9-inch phenom — who has her own signature move, the “Biles” (a double flip in the layout position with a half twist) — the path to stardom has required dedication.
Her mother, Nellie Biles, described her as “one of the most competitive, stubborn people I know. I’ve seen my daughter write her goals on a piece of paper year after year — and she does everything she can to reach those goals.”
Born in Columbus, Ohio, Biles trains at the World Gymnastics Centre in Spring, Texas, where she often sports Nike Free sneakers for her off-the-mat work.