Gymnast Simone Biles

Standing at just 4 feet and 9 inches high, the legendary Simone Biles doesn't need height to be the most decorated gymnast in the world. The athlete brought home gold for the United States Olympic Team in 2016 alongside a plethora of other medals. In fact, her career total now evens out to a staggering 20 medals (so far). With Olympic gymnastic trials later this month, let's revisit some of Biles' greatest hits.

Photo credit: Tony Gutierrez/AP via Washington Post

Born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1997, Biles and her sister were raised by her grandparents in Texas. At age 6, Biles' infatuation with gymnastics began with a trip to the gymnastics facility Bannon's Gymnastix in Houston, where she went on to train for the next 11 years. Under the direction of coach Aimee Boorman, Biles' high-scoring career kicked off at the Women’s Junior Olympic National Championships, when she secured a gold medal in floor exercise and a bronze in vault. From there, Biles couldn't be stopped. She entered elite competition in 2010, and though was too young to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, all eyes were on this rising star.

In 2013, Biles began doing what she does best: breaking records. In her very first year as a senior competitor, Biles won the all-around title at a world gymnastics competition, making her the first Black woman to do so. At the 2014 competition, Biles took home the all-around title again, alongside four other gold medals and a silver in vault. By 2015, Biles had claimed her third consecutive all-around title, making her the first woman to accomplish the feat since Kim Zmeskal in 1992. The hat trick of wins in 2015 brought Biles' career total to 14 world championship medals, the most ever earned by a U.S. gymnast, male or female.

Photo credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images. 

Though time trials for the 2021 Olympic season haven't yet taken place, Biles is all but assured a spot on the team. This past Sunday, June 6, Biles took home her record-breaking seventh U.S. title at the United States Gymnastics Championships. In fact, Biles won the title with a comfortable 4.5 points between her and second place. Even after a pandemic year and eight years of competition, this legendary gymnast shows no signs of slowing down. Consistently and masterfully performing mind-bogglingly difficult moves (four of which are now named for her), Biles has reinvigorated the sport for years to come. Learn more about her record-breaking career here. And, watch Sunday's performance below.

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