Simone Biles’ entrance into the world of gymnastics may have started on a daycare field trip in her hometown of Spring, Texas, but her God-given talent, passion, and perseverance have made her one of the top gymnasts in the world, as well as a four-time winner of Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro.
But there is more to Simone than the nineteen medals—fourteen of them gold—and the Olympic successes. Through years of hard work and determination, she has relied on her faith and family to stay focused and positive, while having fun competing at the highest level and doing what she loves. Here, in her own words, Simone takes you through the events, challenges, and trials that carried her from an early childhood in foster care to a coveted spot on the 2016 Olympic team.
Along the way, Simone shares the details of her inspiring personal story—one filled with the kinds of daily acts of courage that led her, and can lead you, to even the most unlikely of dreams.
New York Times bestselling author Simone Biles is a four-time Olympic gold medalist and a three-time World all-around gymnastics champion. In 2015 at the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, she became the only female gymnast to ever win three consecutive all-around titles. She is also the most decorated American female gymnast, with a total of nineteen medals, fourteen of them gold. Simone, who was born in Ohio and later adopted by her grandparents in Texas, began her training at age 6. During a serendipitous day care field trip to Bannon’s Gymnastix, a coach recognized Simone’s natural talent and sent home a letter to her parents, requesting that they enroll her in a class. Simone rose quickly through the sport’s levels, and in 2011, she began her junior elite career at the American Classics in Huntsville, Texas, where she placed third all-around. Amid a few setbacks in the following two seasons, Simone rebounded in 2013 to claim the first of her three all-around World Championship titles. With her strong faith in God and her triumph against the odds, Simone is inspiring millions to dream big and follow their hearts.
Michelle Burford is a #1 New York Times bestselling collaborative writer and a founding editor of O, The Oprah Magazine. She is a Harvard-trained journalist whose work has taken her to more than 35 countries on six continents. A native of Phoenix, Michelle now resides in New York City. Visit her online at www.MichelleBurford.com
Gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast and Dancing with the Stars champion Laurie Hernandez shares her story in her own words in this debut book for fans of all ages—with never-before-seen photos!
At sixteen years old, Laurie Hernandez has already made many of her dreams come true—and yet it’s only the beginning for this highly accomplished athlete. A Latina Jersey girl, Laurie saw her life take a dramatic turn last summer when she was chosen to be a part of the 2016 US Olympic gymnastics team. After winning gold in Rio as part of the Final Five, Laurie also earned an individual silver medal for her performance on the balance beam. Nicknamed “the Human Emoji” for her wide-eyed and animated expressions, Laurie continued to dance her way into everyone’s hearts while competing on the hit reality TV show Dancing with the Stars, where she was the youngest-ever winner of the Mirrorball Trophy.
Poignant and funny, Laurie’s story is about growing up with the dream of becoming an Olympian and what it took to win gold. She talks about her loving family, her rigorous training, her intense sacrifices, and her amazing triumphs. Be prepared to fall in love with and be mesmerized by America’s newest sweetheart all over again.