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Fireball Award

Simone Biles: A Determined Athlete with a Will to Excel

CKW Luxe is proud to announce that Simone Biles is our honoree for the Fireball Award. This award goes to an exceptional youth athlete. The winner of this award represents the meaning of teamwork, determination, and passion for the sport.

“Practice creates confidence. Confidence empowers you.” – Simone Biles
Simone Biles is a 19-year-old artistic gymnast. Her chosen discipline requires the gymnast to perform short routines on different apparatus with courage, control, and grace. How, you might ask, did Simone discover this field of gymnastics and fall in love with it?

At the age of six, she attended a daycare field trip to Bannon’s Gymnastix, in Northwest Houston, which has been delivering gymnastics programs to children since 1986. While she was there, Simone began copying some of the gymnasts. Noticing this, one of the coaches, Ms. Ronnie, informed another coach, Coach Aimee, and the two composed a letter, which they sent home to Simone’s parents. In an article in the Wall Street Journal, her mother, Nellie Biles, mentions she herself had never done gymnastics, but, upon receiving the letter, she decided that it was a “brilliant idea.” In the same article, she says that Simone, in particular, was an active child, and she liked the idea she could go “and flip somewhere else.”
Simone began recreational classes shortly afterward and her lifelong love of gymnastics started to bloom. Now Simone trains in a gymnastics center built by the Biles very close to her home in Spring, Texas where she trains six days a week. She puts in a minimum of 32 hours, but it can be more. Her first coach, Aimee Boorman, remains her coach to this day.

The following are the titles Wikipedia lists for Simone: the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships all-around champion for 2013, 2014, and 2015; the U.S.A. Gymnastics National Championships all-around champion for 2013, 2014, and 2015; the world floor champion for 2013, 2014, and 2015; the world balance beam champion for 2014 and 2015; and a member of the gold-medal-winning American team at the 2014 and the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

At the tender age of 19, Simone has the distinguished honor of being the most decorated American female gymnast in World Championships history. She has fourteen medals. Ten of them are gold. And that’s after only three appearances. Those ten gold medals also mean she holds the record for most gold medals won by a female gymnast in the history of the World Championships. Other career highlights include: member of the 2016 Pacific Rim Championships team and all-around champion, United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) Female Olympic Athlete of the Year for 2014 to 2015, Winner of the USOC’s Best of November (2015) Team USA Award, and 2014 Women’s Sports Foundation’s Individual Sportswoman of the Year.

Her achievements don’t stop there, however. Simone is the first African-American to achieve the title of world all-around champion. As well, she is the first woman to ever win the all-around title three times in a row in the world championships. Of her singular achievements, Simone says, “… I just keep blowing my own mind because yes there are goals that I have and then I dream of it and then I make it a reality like I’m just shocked by myself. If I could crawl out of my skin and see it, it would be really amazing.”

Of course, all this didn’t happen overnight. It has taken Simone years of dedication, perseverance, hard work, and competitionsto achieve these milestones. Here are some of the many highlights of Simone’s achievements since she began competing leading up to her national and world titles: As a level 8 gymnast in 2008, Simone finished twenty-fourth in the all-around and sixth on vault at the State Championships. She was eleven years old. In 2009, and just twelve years old, Simone quickly moved up to level 10 and won the all-around title at both the Mary Lou Retton Invitational and the Rose City Classic. In 2010, at the age of thirteen, Simone began the season with three straight all-around titles at the Ricky Deci Invitational, the Space City Classic, and the Classic Rock Invitational, and concluded the season winning the all-around title at the U.S. Challenge. In 2011, Simone started her season at the Metroplex Challenge, finishing first in the all-around. She then traveled to California for the Gliders National Elite Qualifier where she qualified to junior international elite after winning the all-around title. At the age of fifteen, in 2012, Simone competed at the Junior VISA Championships, finishing third in the all-around, first on vault, and sixth on uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise. As well, she, along with the top six, made the Junior U.S. National Team.

The U.S. Gymnastics Team co-ordinator, Martha Karolyi, says of Simone, “She throws big skills with big easy and that’s a fantastic quality.” Simone’s next big challenge? This summer she will be heading to Rio de Janeiro to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Not only is she a competitor in everyone’s favorite Summer Olympics sport, she is also the clear favorite to win gold. Her coach believes she is poised to be a star on the big stage in Brazil this year, according to NBC’s Today. Anyone who has witnessed the joy, grace, and power with which she performs her floor routine and her signature tumbling will understand. Simone brings the same quality of technique and prowess to all her events.

CKW Luxe would like to congratulate Simone Biles on being the Fireball Award honoree. As the embodiment of the award, Simone is an athlete of unparalleled ability who, due to her passion and purpose, has accomplished the highest goals of her chosen discipline. With a smile so infectious, one can’t help but smile along with her while she performs, Simone encourages other young athletes to follow in her footsteps with the same kind of enthusiasm and determination. As she says in her own words, “I would just say to never give up because I’ve had periods where I didn’t think I would accomplish all the things that I’ve accomplished. Once you set your mind to it, you have motivation, and I think you can achieve anything you put your mind to.”

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