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2016 Rio Summer Olympics
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Simone Biles: Gold Medal Gymnast Defies Gravity

Simone Biles capped her four-year run of dominance with a commanding win in the women's gymnastics all-around competition.

Simone Biles competes on the floor in the women's Individual All-Around final on Aug. 11.

Biles was too young to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, but the 4-foot-9 gymnast has completely dominated her sport since her senior debut in 2013. Not only is she the first female gymnast since 1974 to win four consecutive all-around titles at the U.S. national championships, but she's also the first woman ever to be the all-around world champion three years in a row. Not to mention that she's won fourteen total world championships medals--the most ever won by an American woman.

HOW HWEE YOUNG / EPA

Biles performs on the beam in the women's Individual All-Around final.

TATYANA ZENKOVICH / EPA

Ron and Nellie Biles, Simone's grandparents, react as the U.S. wins gold in the women's team final on Aug. 9. At right is Simone's sister Adria Biles.

Simone Biles was born in 1997 in Columbus, Ohio. By the time she was three, it was clear that her biological mother, who struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, was unable to take care of Biles and her younger sister Adria. Ron and Nellie, stepped in and brought the pair to Spring, Texas, a suburb of Houston--and sixteen years later, they're simply "mom and dad" to their adopted daughters.

MIKE BLAKE / Reuters

Simone Biles competes on the balance beam during the Women's Team Final on Aug. 9. It was a daycare field trip to a gym that led her to the sport--the six-year-old saw the older girls flipping and twisting and immediately started copying them.

 

STORY: Who is... Simone Biles

Lars Baron / Getty Images
Biles competes on the vault during the women's team final. PETER JEBAUTZKE / Reuters

Biles performs on the floor during the all-around final. 

Morry Gash / AP

Biles soars through the air during the uneven bars competition.

Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Biles competes on the uneven bars.

KAI PFAFFENBACH / Reuters

Simone Biles competes on the beam during the women's qualifications on Aug. 8.

DAMIR SAGOLJ / Reuters

Teammates Simone Biles and Alexandra Raisman hug at the end of the women's Individual all-around final on Aug. 11. Biles won gold, Raisman silver. She ended the night with a huge lead of 2.1 points over Raisman. It's only the second time that two U.S. gymnasts have finished 1-2 in an Olympic all-around, after Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

STORY: Expectations met: Simone Biles wins all-around gold

 

TATYANA ZENKOVICH / EPA