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USA gymnast Simone Biles sat down with Jillian Mele of CSN Philly recently to discuss her prolific career and the obstacles she’s faced en route to becoming America’s most decorated gymnast. 

As a child, Biles’ foster home had a trampoline but she was not allowed to use it because of insurance issues. Biles said that led her and her brother to simply use other things for gymnastics. 

“I remember my brother would flip off the swing and try to show me and then I would try to copy him,” Biles said. “Then I started flipping off mailboxes once I moved to Houston, and my mom and dad would be so mad at me, but I did it anyways. I’ve always been very fearless.” 

Biles also discussed a 2013 incident in which she overheard a coach saying she struggled in a meet because she was “too fat.”

“It was very sad because I feel like I’m a very petite young girl and so hear that at such a very young age, it just kind of shocked me,” she said. “I honestly don’t think that’s the reason that I fell apart and I feel like everything happens for a reason, so that had to happen for me to be where I am today. If it didn’t happen, things might have been different.” 

Biles, who has been outspoken against body-shaming, shared a message of optimism for anyone who’s had to deal with it. 

 

“I would say everyone was built with a body and they’re blessed,” Biles said, “so you have to be confident in whatever God gave you because that’s you and you have to learn to love yourself.”