9 reasons to be a little obsessed with elite gymnast Simone Biles.
At 4 feet 9 inches, Simone Biles is rarely the tallest person in the room — at least until she steps onto the podium.
The 19-year-old just won the all-around title and helped the United States secure the team title at the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships in Everett, Washington.
In fact, this petite athlete is one of the premier gymnasts in the world, earning multiple world and U.S. all-around titles.
Ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Biles is at the top of her game.
But since we only seem to hear about gymnasts every four years, you many not know much about her.
Here are nine amazing facts about the best gymnast in the world.
1. A chance encounter during a field trip introduced her to gymnastics.
She was 6 years old when her day care took a field trip to a gym. Young Simone mimicked the moves of the older athletes and caught the attention of coach Aimee Boorman. More than a decade later, the duo still work together.
2. Simone was home-schooled for most of her education.
For years, her typical day involved four hours of studying and schoolwork at her training gym in the morning. Then gymnastics in the afternoon. When her training began, she put in 16 hours a week at the gym. Now, it's closer to 30.
3. She's all about family.
Biles' mother struggled with addiction, but her grandparents were able to step in and provide care for Simone and her younger sister Adria. While she keeps in contact with her mother, her grandmother and grandfather are officially mom and dad.
happy birthday daddio🎉
A photo posted by Simone Biles (@simonebiles) on
4. She has a signature flip.
It's a double layout with a half twist, and it's known in gymnastics circles as "The Biles."
5. Even former champions are amazed by Simone's talent.
Former all-around champion Mary Lou Retton called Biles "unbeatable." In a story for Team USA, Retton said: "She may be the most talented gymnast I’ve ever seen in my life, honestly. And I don’t think she’s tapped into what she can really do."
6. But despite her prowess, Biles still has to deal with the B.S.
In 2013, she became the first black world all-around champion. Carlotta Ferlito, an Italian gymnast who came in 11th place, told the Italian media, "I told [teammate Vanessa Ferrari] that next time we should also paint our skin black, so then we could win too."
Though she apologized for her comments, the Italian gymnastics body went on to defend Ferlito and suggest a trend where the sport may be favoring black athletes and body types.
Biles may have a handful of ignorant haters to contend with, but she shuts them down at every turn with one simple move: winning.
7. She is a serious force to be reckoned with.
Think of someone who's really good at something. Now triple their accomplishments. That's Simone Biles.
She is a three-time world all-around champion, with consecutive wins in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
She is a three-time U.S. all-around champion with consecutive wins in, you guessed it, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Plus, she has 10 world gold medals, a record for women's gymnastics. And she's not done yet.
8. But when the training is done, Biles is a lot like us.
Well, as much as an elite athlete can be. She likes Zac Efron, she still gets dressed up for Halloween, and she's afraid of bees. She even ran off the podium when one flew in her face.
9. After gymnastics, she's thinking about a career in health care.
While many athletes of her ilk want to stay in the gym and work as a coach or trainer, Biles hopes to follow in her mom's footsteps and become a nurse.
The 2016 U.S. Olympic team trials for women's gymnastics get underway in July, and Biles is already a favorite.
Not just to make the team, but to win the all-around gold medal. Competing in the Olympics has been a dream of Biles' since she was a child.
After decades of work and effort, it looks like that dream is about to come true.