Biles knows smiles don’t ‘win gold medals’

Smiling is all fine and good, but when you’re a champion, you have to keep your eyes on the prize — just ask Simone Biles.

After receiving some criticism for her performance on Dancing With the Stars on Monday night, HuffPost says the Olympic gold medalist tried to mask her frustration. In her first performance, espnW says she was criticized by judge Carrie Ann Inaba for smiling too much, and in her second performance, host Tom Bergeron wondered why she didn’t smile after receiving some compliments from the judges.

“I was waiting for you to smile at some of the compliments, you didn’t,” said Bergeron, according to HuffPost.

Biles countered with, “Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.”

Well said.

Biles bolsters foster children in new partnership

Adopted by her maternal grandparents when she was 3 years old, Simone Biles went on to become a five-time Olympic gold medalist and the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year — evidence that one’s origins do not solely determine the trajectory of life. And that’s exactly the message that Biles sought to share in a new interview with People magazine.

According to the Huffington Post, Biles detailed in the Jan. 16 issue of the magazine her experience in foster care while also discussing her latest partnership with Mattress Firm’s donation drive, which “provides contributions to non-profit foster care organizations.”

Prior to her adoption, the Huffington Post says Biles was born to a mother who suffered from addiction, landing her and her sister in the foster care system. “It’s hard going into the system with hardly anything,” she said, according to HuffPost. “Because even though foster parents may receive a stipend, sometimes it’s not enough to cover all the necessities.”

Now the world’s top gymnast (and one of the most inspirational 19-year-olds around), Biles is not only teaming up with Mattress Firm to help foster kids enjoy sweet dreams while they get a good night’s sleep — and then to wake up and go chase them.

“I came from a foster home and went on to achieve everything I’ve achieved,” she said, according to HuffPost. “I’m just hoping it can inspire other foster kids to never give up and to always pursue your dreams. And to play sports and get good sleep… My message is: ‘There are no limits.'”

Be sure to look out for Biles’ upcoming interview in the Jan. 16 issue of People.

Biles named AP Female Athlete of the Year

With a stellar performance at the summer Olympic games that resulted in 5 medals, it’s safe to say that Simone Biles is considered one of the top names in sports in 2016. But this week, the Associated Press confirmed her elite status, naming her their Female Athlete of the Year.

According to the AP, Biles received the honor after a vote conducted by news editors and directors around the United States; after all the votes were in, Biles came away with the victory after receiving 31 out of a possible 59 votes.

The AP reports that “U.S. Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky, who won four golds and a silver in Rio, finished second with 20 votes. Serena Williams, who won Wimbledon for the seventh time to tie Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slam titles, and three-time AP women’s NCAA basketball Player of the Year Breanna Stewart tied for third with four votes each.”

The fifth gymnast to receive the title, the AP says previous honorees include “Olga Korbut in 1972, Nadia Comaneci in 1976, Mary Lou Retton in 1984 and Gabby Douglas in 2012.”

Congratulations to the world-class athlete!


Athletes are ‘unlimited’ in new Nike ad

The recent Rio Olympic games showcased the athletic prowess of female athletes around the world, with many from the United States rising to the top. But their dominance doesn’t stop there.

According to ELLE, some of the best female athletes around star in a new ad for Nike called “Unlimited Pursuit,” part of their “Unlimited” campaign “celebrating power, beauty, and pursuit of athletic perfection.”

The video features Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas of this year’s “Final Five” gymnastics team, as well as Serena Williams, Scout Bassett, Elena Delle Donne and Allyson Felix, reports ELLE.

Nike spoke of the athletes in the ad, says ELLE, explaining their paramount significance this way:

“Recovering from setbacks, losses and injury, rising from obscurity and destroying obstacles to claim victory, they command the spotlight and inspire Nike to innovate to match their strength and their dreams.”

To watch the inspirational ad, click here.


U.S. Women’s Gymnastics smokes competition

The U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team is on fire — and they are only just getting started.

According to the Huffington Post, the five-member team took home a gold medal on Tuesday, Aug. 9 in Rio de Janeiro in the team all-around competition after posting a nearly 10-point lead over China in the qualifying round. The squad — comprised of  Aly RaismanGabrielle DouglasSimone Biles, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian — won the gold by eight points, with Russia earning a silver medal and China taking home the bronze, reports the Huffington Post.

The “Final Five” (who will be the final team of five gymnasts for the U.S. and the final team Marta Karolyi will coach and coordinate for Team USA, according to TODAY) began their competition at the vault, followed by a turn on the bars and the beam and concluded with floor exercise, says the Huffington Post, with three gymnasts competing in each event. This follows what is known as the “three-up, three-count” format, according to the Huffington Post, who explained the system this way:

“Though the U.S. team has five members, the final is conducted in a format known as ‘three-up, three-count,’ meaning only three gymnasts from each country perform on each event and every score counts toward the team total. (In qualifying rounds, the format is “four-up, three-count,” and the lowest score on each event is dropped from the team total.) So every routine and each deduction is a high-stakes affair. There’s no room for error in the team final.”

But after several flawless performances by each of the teammates, the team secured the gold, which the Huffington Post reports is the second consecutive team all-around gold medal for the United States.

What’s more is that the Huffington Post says each team member has qualified for an individual event final: “Biles on vault, beam and floor; Raisman on floor; Kocian and Douglas on bars; and Hernandez on beam. Biles, Raisman and Douglas took the top three all-around spots in qualifications, though the “two per country” rule means that Douglas will not be allowed to defend her Olympic all-around title on Thursday.”

With many more events still to come for Team USA gymnastics, it’s safe to say that all eyes will be on the Final Five, awaiting their next gold-medal moment.


Biles leaps into history

Winning a championship sporting event takes practice, skill and determination. But to win four championships in a row, it takes a certain level of expertise and consistency — just ask Simone Biles.

The 19-year-old gymnast just recorded her highest scores ever at the Sunday, June 26 gymnastics showdown, says the Huffington Post, making her “the first woman in more than 40 years to win four consecutive U.S. women’s gymnastics championships.”

Posting at two-day all-around score of 125.000, Biles not only topped her previous high-score of 124.100 from last year, the Huffington Post says she “matched the four straight titles won by Joan Moore Gnat in 1971-74.”

Her closest competitor: two-time London Olympics gold medalist Aly Raisman, who was four points behind Biles with a score of 121.000, according to HuffPost. The top-five gymnasts included Lauren Hernandez (120.500) in third, Gabby Douglas (117.800) in fourth and Madison Kocian (116.450) in fifth, says HuffPost.

HuffPost reports, “The top-five finishers, along with Amelia Hundley, Alyssa Baumann and 15-year-old Ragan Smith earned automatic berths to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in San Jose in two weeks, when the official five-woman team for the Rio Games will be named.”