Simone Biles Owens (born Simone Arianne Biles; March 14, 1997) is an American artistic gymnast. Her seven Olympic medals tied with Shannon Miller for the most Olympic medals won by an American gymnast and is the equal ninth-most overall. Having won 26 World Championship medals, she is the most decorated gymnast in the history of the Gymnastics World Championships and is considered by many to be the greatest gymnast of all time. In 2022, Biles was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Joe Biden.
Early Life and Education
Biles was in a relationship with fellow gymnast Stacey Ervin Jr from August 2017 to March 2020.
She has been in a relationship with professional American football player Jonathan Owens since August 2020. Biles announced her engagement to Owens on February 15, 2022. They married on April 22, 2023.
In 2014, Biles had a shoulder injury resulting in withdrawal from the March 2014 American Cup.
In September 2017, Biles opened up about having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) after her medical records were leaked online, revealing that she had been taking Ritalin (methylphenidate), used to treat the condition, during the Olympics. Having been diagnosed as a child, she had previously disclosed her condition to the World Anti-Doping Agency and obtained a medical exemption, allowing her to take the medication during competitions. In Biles’s statement, she said that ADHD is “nothing to be ashamed of and nothing that I’m afraid to let people know.”
In 2018, Biles suffered a broken toe. She also suffered from a kidney stone.
Biles first tried gymnastics at age 6 during a day-care field trip. The instructors suggested she continue with gymnastics. Biles soon enrolled in an optional training program at Bannon’s Gymnastics. She began training with coach Aimee Boorman at age eight.
Biles began her elite career at age 14 on July 1, 2011, at the 2011 American Classic in Houston. She placed third all-around, first on vault and balance beam, fourth on floor exercise, and eighth on uneven bars. Later that month, Biles competed at the 2011 U.S. Classic in Chicago, Illinois, where she placed 20th all-around, fifth on the balance beam and floor exercise.
Biles’ first meet of 2012 was the American Classic hosted in Huntsville, Texas. She placed first all-around and on vault, tied for second on floor exercise, placed third on balance beam, and fourth on uneven bars.
Biles’ placement in the American Classic secured her a spot to compete at the 2012 USA Gymnastics National Championships. She later competed at the 2012 U.S. Classic in Chicago. She finished first all-around and on vault, second on floor exercise, and sixth on balance beam. In June, she made her second appearance at the U.S. National Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. She finished third all-around, first on vault, and sixth on uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise. After this performance, Biles was named to the U.S. Junior National Team by a committee headed by Márta Károlyi, the National Team Coordinator (2001–2016).
Biles’ senior international debut was in March at the 2013 American Cup, a FIG World Cup event. She and Katelyn Ohashi were named as replacements for Elizabeth Price and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kyla Ross, both of whom withdrew from the competition because of injuries. Biles led for two rotations but finished second behind her teammate, Ohashi, after a fall off the beam.
Biles traveled to Jesolo, Italy to compete at the 2013 City of Jesolo Trophy. She took the all-around, vault, balance beam, and floor exercise titles in addition to contributing to the U.S. team’s gold medal. She and the U.S. delegation next competed at an international tri-meet in Chemnitz, Germany, against teams from Germany and Romania. The U.S. won the team gold medal. In addition, Biles won the vault, balance beam, and floor titles, and tied for second in the all-around, behind Kyla Ross, after a fall on the uneven bars.
In July, Biles competed at the 2013 U.S. Classic. She performed poorly, falling several times, and did not compete vault after twisting her ankle on the floor exercise. In the aftermath of this poor performance, Biles consulted a sports psychologist whom she credits with helping her anxiety and confidence issues and allowing her to begin her streak of dominance in the sport.
Biles competed at the 2013 USA Gymnastics National Championships in August, where she was crowned the national all-around champion. Biles also won silver in all four individual events. After the USA Gymnastics National Championships, Biles was named to the Senior National Team and was invited to the qualifying camp for the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Texas. She was selected for the World Championships team.
Biles missed the start of the season due to injury, sitting out the 2014 AT&T American Cup and the 2014 Pacific Rim Championships. Her debut that year was at the U.S. Classic in Chicago. She won the all-around by a wide margin and also took first place on vault, beam (tied with Ross), and floor. At the 2014 USA Gymnastics National Championships, Biles repeated as national all-around champion after two days of competition, finishing more than four points ahead of silver medalist Ross, despite a fall from the balance beam during her final routine of the meet. She won the gold on vault and floor, tied for the silver on balance beam with Alyssa Baumann, and finished fourth on the uneven bars. She was once again selected for the Senior National Team.
On September 17, Biles was selected to compete at the 2014 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Nanning, China. She dominated the preliminary round despite a major error on the uneven bars, qualifying in first place in the all-around, vault, beam, and floor finals, in addition to contributing to the U.S. team’s first-place qualification into the team final. During the team final, Biles led the United States to its second consecutive world team championship, which they won over the second-place Chinese team by nearly seven points. In the all-around, Biles performed cleanly on all four events, bettering her bars score from qualifications by more than a point, and won her second consecutive world all-around title ahead of Ross and Romanian Larisa Iordache. Biles became the second American woman to repeat as world all-around champion, following Miller (1993 and 1994), and the first woman of any nationality to do so since Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina (2001 and 2003). Biles finished behind North Korea’s Hong Un Jong in the vault competition, taking her second consecutive silver medal in that event. She won the gold in the balance beam final ahead of China’s Bai Yawen and the gold in the floor exercise final, again, ahead of Iordache. This brought her total of World Championship gold medals to six, the most ever by an American gymnast, surpassing Miller’s five.
In late June it was announced that Biles would return to competition at the 2023 U.S. Classic, held on 5 August in the Chicago metropolitan area. She competed in all four events for an all-around score of 59.100, finishing exactly five points ahead of runner-up Leanne Wong. Biles also placed first on balance beam (14.800) and floor exercise (14.900). Although she did not attempt a second vault, she did compete in a Yurchenko double pike. Biles also obtained the necessary qualification score to advance to the 2023 U.S. National Championships. At the National Championships Biles won her eighth national all-around title ahead of Shilese Jones and Leanne Wong. Additionally, she placed first on balance beam and floor exercise and third on uneven bars behind Jones and Skye Blakely. With her eighth national title, Biles broke the record of Al Jochim, who won seven titles on a national level, the last one in 1933. Additionally, Biles became the oldest woman to win the title at 26 years and 166 days old; she surpassed Linda Metheny Mulvihill, who was 24 and 100 days in 1971.
In September, Biles attended the U.S. women’s selection camp for the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and the 2023 Pan American Artistic Gymnastics Championships, held in Katy, Texas. Despite two falls, she won the first day of competition with an all-around score of 55.700 which granted her automatic qualification to the U.S. Worlds team.