The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The Wizard of Oz: Interviews with the Cast
Olivia Abbott and Aniyah NelsonApril 7, 2024

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A Beaming Star

Simone+Biles+in+Rio+de+Janeiro
Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil
Simone Biles in Rio de Janeiro

Now, do not take this title too seriously, because she is a star everywhere: Not just on the beam, but on the floor, vault, and bar too. This “she” of course is Simone Biles, who one could argue is the greatest gymnast of this century. I am not here to argue about rankings, but to shine light on an incredible athlete who is nothing but deserving of her countless medals. 

Simone Biles was born on March 14 in Columbus, Ohio. Biles, along with her three other siblings, was put into foster care at a very young age. Eventually, her grandfather took full custody of the Biles children and raised them in Texas, where Simone Biles soon started her gymnastics career.  At the age of six, Biles went on a gymnastics field trip, just for fun. One of the instructors recommended she should keep up with the sport, and that is exactly what she did. At eight years old, Biles started getting private lessons. At the age of fourteen, she competed in her first elite competition. Her junior career was very unpredictable, with many highs and some lows. In her first ever competition, Biles placed third all around. Her second competition was not as impressive as her first, and she placed 20th overall. Nevertheless, one of Biles’ many amazing qualities is that no matter what place she earns, it never stops or defines her. Biles took this placement as an opportunity to get better, and this secured her a spot to compete at the National Gymnastics Competition. Biles ended up placing first all around and began her  senior career with a strong impression.

All athletes have their “sink or swim” moment during their careers, and summer of 2020 was Biles. The United States team was in second place behind the Russian team, and Biles started to sink. She had many bobbles (bobbles is a term used in gymnastics which means stumbled or tripped) on her floor routine, which was unusual for her. Even though she made some mistakes, she still placed first overall. More trouble was still to come. While Biles was warming up for vault her next meet, she stumbled and did not flip the number of times she was expected to. During her actual performance, she made the same mistake, and people started to express their concerns. Later on during that event, Biles decided to withdraw from the competition entirely. Biles was experiencing huge mental blocks as the intensity of the competition caught up to her. Biles knew she would only recieve more critiques for doing so, but still needed to make the right decision for her health. Biles decided to return to gymnastics in the summer of 2023, and she surpassed the expectations! Biles won first place all around and the oldest woman to win that title at 26. Once again, Biles attended the 2023 World Championship, where she placed first overall. Biles had made an outstanding comeback from her 2020 departure, and could not have done it better. Biles being able to win back-to-back titles after major mental health scares shows just what a star she is.

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About the Contributor
Jillian DeMayo
Jillian DeMayo, Sports Writer
My name is Jillian DeMayo and I am a sophomore and writer for the sports section in Newspaper Club this year. I am a member of cross country, basketball, and softball. In my free time when I'm not playing sports I love hanging out with my friends.

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