Houston Observer

By U.S. Representative Ted Poe

Like superwoman, Simone Biles bounds down the runway, sprinting at full speed. She throws herself into a back handspring over the vault, and manages to add a two-and-a-half twisting layout off of it, and sticks the landing.

While she makes it look almost effortless, it’s the second hardest vault performed in the world.

Biles’s successes read like an action story book: three-time World All- Around Champion. Four-time U.S. All-Around Champion. A record-setting 10 World Championships wins, the most in U.S. history. Sound impressive? Well, that’s because it is. Now, Houston Texas’s own superwoman is set to make the history books again.

Four-foot-nine Biles is the overwhelming favorite to not just represent Team USA at the 2016 Olympics, but to bring home the All-Around gold for Team USA Gymnastics. For many young athletes, the Olympics is a far off dream. But for Biles, it’s a dream turned into true accomplishment.

As Rio is about to kick-off on Friday, Biles has trained with her fellow members of the “Fantastic Five”, ready to represent Team USA over the next few weeks. In fact, many say that she is practically unbeatable, and in a league all of her own. Many of us remember the ’84 Olympics when American starlet Mary Lou Retton won the first ever gymnastics Olympic gold for the U.S. Retton, who first set the US standard for Olympic excellence in gymnastics, said “[Simone] may be the most talented gymnast I’ve ever seen in my life, honestly. And I don’t think she’s tapped into what she can really do. I think she’s unbeatable.”

Her remarkable talent has brought gymnastics to an even higher level of difficulty. For example, the 19-year-old already has her very own skill named after her, appropriately named a “Biles.” To compete a Biles, a gymnast must perform a tumbling pass, consisting of a double back layout with a half-twist. Not to mention, stick it. To get such a skill named after her, Biles had to not just perform the skill during competition but also be the first person ever to do so.

Texas has a long tradition of producing Olympic-caliber gymnasts, including Marry Lou Retton, Kim Zmeskal, Dominique Moceanu, Nastia Liukin, and Carly Patterson. The Lone Star State

is also home the most famous of the national team training centers, Bela Karolyi’s Ranch. Soon, Biles name will be added to the list of Texas gymnasts who have brought home gold for Team USA.

Off the mat, nineteen-year-old Biles serves as a role model and inspiration to many young girls and athletes throughout America. Not surprisingly, she displays extreme focus in her everyday life. Her humble attitude exhibits the mark of good sportsmanship. Her family has instilled in her the confidence to succeed and the drive to accomplish her dreams, something that every young Texan should strive to exemplify.

With Biles in Rio, we are enthusiastically excited to have a hometown hero representing Team USA and her neighborhood of Spring. We’ll all be glued to our TVs, watching her compete on the international stage and rooting her in her quest to bring home the gold. Simone! Simone! — This firecracker has captured the hearts of our community, Texas and the red, white, and blue. Simone’s determination and character is an example of the best of the American Spirit.

And that’s just the way it is.