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Hours after Simone Biles received a “disappointing” bronze medal on the balance beam, the gymnast sat down for an exclusive interview with TODAY. But with all cameras on her, the Olympic champion turned the spotlight on someone else.
Once again, Simone Biles reminded the world the beauty that comes when we find peace and fully trust in God’s plan.
Many wonder where Simone’s brilliance and resilience derives from, but you don’t have too dig far to find where her gift of gymnastics comes from: Simone is outspoken about her Christian faith.
As the young daughter of a fatherless home who was shuffled between a drug-addicted mother and foster homes, Simone’s chances of excelling in any sport — especially one so intense as gymnastics — seemed slim indeed.
Simone was six when she self-launched her gymnastics career, the same year Ron and Nellie adopted her and her sister Adria, and the two girls were introduced to Christianity. Shortly after the adoption, the sisters started calling them Dad and Mom. Until then, they had been known as Grandpa and Grandma. But everything changed when Nellie told the girls, “It’s up to you guys. If you want to, you can call us Mom and Dad.”
“I went upstairs,” Simone told the Texas Monthly, “and tried practicing it in the mirror — ‘Mom, Dad, Mom, Dad.’ Then I went downstairs, and she was in the kitchen. I looked up at her and I was like, ‘Mom?’ She said, ‘Yes!’ ”
Simone’s parents instilled her with a devout Christian faith. When she’s not competing, Simone attends mass with her family every Sunday. Simone prays regularly, and relies heavily on prayer before each performance.
Within hours, Simone bounced back from a bronze medal performance on the beam to dominate the floor (considered her best event), completing her Rio Olympics with four gold medals and the bronze. She made history once again by becoming the fourth American female gymnast to win five medals in a single Olympics, scoring a 15.966 in the floor — an almost perfect score.
Simone Biles’ testimony illustrates the reward that can only be found when we submit ourselves to Jesus Christ. When the devil tried to detour her gift of gymnastics with trials and tragedies, Simone’s strength in God allowed her to reach heights most athletes will never see.