11 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Olympic Hero Simone Biles
19-year-old Simone Biles has taken the Olympics by storm. Not only has the first-time Olympian secured a whopping five medals in Rio this month, but FOUR of them are gold. And have you been on the Internet (silly question. Hi!)? Fans have been squealing over not just her athletic performance, but everything from her eye makeup to her emojis to her potential guest role on Pretty Little Liars. We. Can’t. Get. Enough.
You already knew that she’s a HUGE Zac Efron fan, but did you know she was adopted and raised by her grandparents? Or that she was homeschooled to make more time for training? Check out those and more surprising things you didn’t know about this new American hero.
1. Simone was adopted and raised by her grandparents. Simone’s biological mother’s drug and alcohol addictions left her unable to properly care for her children. After a stint in foster care, Simone’s maternal grandparents Ron and Nellie officially adopted Simone and another of her siblings. Simone even calls her grandmother mom.
2. She taught herself to do backflips off her family’s mailbox. This was before she was ever enrolled in gymnastics. It was clearly in the stars for this one.
3. A turn of weather introduced her to gymnastics. When Simone was six, her daycare had to change their plans for a field trip last minute, and instead they went to a local gym. She was a natural alongside the other gymnasts, and an instructor sent a note home encouraging her to enroll in lessons.
size difference in olympians doesn't matter, depending on what sport you do 😉 6'8" & 4'8" pic.twitter.com/xiU9zIBXJH
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) August 2, 2016
4. She’s so teeny. Like, 4’8″ teeny. But you know what they say: Height doesn’t measure heart.
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5. She was homeschooled. Simone was so dedicated to her training that she decided to do homeschooling for high school to allow more hours in the gym a week, from the usual 20 up to 32 hours a week.
6. She’ll be heading to UCLA. She deferred her original acceptance to instead go officially pro, signing with the same agency that represents Michael Phelps last year. She has said she plans on attending after the Rio Games.
7. G-Eazy is her favorite artist. A few weeks ago Simone shared a photo of her and friends before going to a G-Eazy show, and has told ABC news he’s her favorite.
8. Pizza is her favorite food. “After every meet I have pizza. Pepperoni pizza,” she told ABC News. What did we tell you? HERO.
9. She “doesn’t do bugs.” At the World Gymnastics Championships in 2014, a bee flew near Simone on the medal podium and she famously threw her bouquet at it. Can’t say we blame her. (Photo via Lintao Zhang/Getty)
10. She’s an all-around sports fan. Her favorite basketball player is Steph Curry, she announced the Houston Texans’ pick at the NFL draft and that? That is a picture of her throwing out the first pitch at a Houston Astros game. YEAH.
11. Simone. Is. A. Hero. Yeah, we know you already know that one. But we can never say it enough. (Photo via Alex Livesey/Getty)