We don’t know about you, but Simone Biles is feeling 22!
The Olympic gymnast turns 22 years old today and like Taylor Swift sings, it’s one of those years that you feel “happy free confused and lonely in the best way” and because of all of that everyone will want to “just keep dancing like we’re 22.”
Since Biles has been kicking butt for so long now, we have a feeling that her 22nd year will be even more exciting and memorable than all those that have come before it.
We know that she’s already competed at the Olympics, won numerous golds, danced her heart out on Dancing With the Stars and has found love, but this year is going to be even better…and her past successes back us up.
During her career and life both on and off the mat, Biles has proved that she is a total badass. She is strong, fierce, feisty and a totally great role model.
What better way to celebrate her birthday than to shine a light on all of the times she was a total winner…and we’re not just talking about all of her medals.
From being a force to be reckoned with within her sport to being someone who knows her worth and stands up to trolls, Biles is a woman you should be watching right now.
She is a little spitfire—who fingers crossed will be back at the Olympics come 2020—who we’d love to grab a margarita with and learn how to do a fun floor routine from.
For all of Biles most memorable moments thus far in her career, keep reading. As you get more and more inspired by the gymnast make sure to give the birthday girl a little shout out on social media, because she definitely deserves it.
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In 2016, Simone Biles made her Olympic debut and it was one for the record books. While competing at the Rio Olympics for Team USA, Biles slayed in almost every event she took part in, only stumbling once on the high beam, but still placing. In the end she took home four gold medals for team, all-around, vault and floor as well as a bronze for balance beam.
Since competing in the Olympics, Biles has used her “star power” for good by inspiring other female athletes to dominate in sports. In 2017, she revealed that after the Rio games her new goal was to push other women to know how important all female athletes are.
“A big focus for me right now is inspiring the next generation of female athletes to dominate in sports like just men, which we honestly proved at the Olympics when women overall picked up more medals than men. Because once you are in the spotlight you need to use that momentum,” Biles told People in 2017. “There’s so much focus on men in sports, so we just want women to know to never give up and chase their dreams. We’re always doing that, we’re always on.”
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The 22-year-old athlete’s life has actually become a movie. In February 2018, Biles’ story became the center of a Lifetime movie called The Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar. It starred Jeanté Godlock and Biles served as a producer on it. The movie tells the story of Biles’ life, starting back when she was in foster care, through her beginnings as a gymnast and all the way through her triumphant Olympic debut.
She Pokes Fun at Herself
The gymnast doesn’t take herself too seriously, which is just another reason to love her. Our favorite example of her goofy side is when she got her wisdom teeth pulled and posted a video of herself after the surgery. In the video she sings, dances and pretends to drive a car. It’s hilarious and shows that she is not above poking fun at herself and her pain.
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She’s a Team Player
After winning her four gold medals and one bronze at the Rio Olympics, Biles was happy, but she was even more excited that her teammate Aly Raisman won the silver in all-around, which is where she won one of her gold medals.
“I think I was more proud of Aly getting silver than me gold,” she told reporters at the time. “She’s worked so incredibly hard during her comeback. She’s one of my role models, and I don’t think there’s anyone I’d rather share the podium with. I’m more happy for her than I am myself.”
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Hater Gonna Hate
When it comes to internet trolls, Biles has no time for them. For example, after one troll tracked down her Venmo account and sent her a request for $1,000 for “losing the Olympics” she clapped back. “Last time I checked, winning 5 medals isn’t losing? but aight!” Biles tweeted alongside a screenshot of the Venmo request.
When another troll made a rude Instagram comment claiming she had “partied non stop for a year” after her Olympic wins and followed it up with “#trash #unfollow #suckyassrolemodel,” Biles, who knows she is actually a good role model and a hard worker, fired back in the comments. She wrote, “Talk to me when you train for 14 years and earn 5 Olympic medals. I think kids would say otherwise. My year off is well deserved! Take a couple seats.”
She’s an author
After winning big in 2016, Biles made her story of success and hard work into a book for anyone to read and be inspired by. With Courage to Soar she told her story, which all started on a daycare field trip. “You might think that going from a girl in foster care to being an Olympic gold medalist in Rio de Janeiro is the most amazing part of my journey. It isn’t. It’s how I got there—or more accurately, who got me there—that is most miraculous,” Biles says of her book on the publisher’s website. “I’m going to tell you a story. My story. How my faith and my family made my wildest dreams come true. And how embracing a dream can give you courage to soar.”
When she’s not competing or spending time with her friends, Biles is soaking up all of the support from her home state of Texas. In fact, since becoming an Olympic success, she’s had the opportunity to join the Houston Texans cheer squad on the field for a game and throw out the first pitch at a Houston Astros game…while tumbling.
That Zac Efron Kiss
While we are all about Biles’ ridiculous talent on the mat, it’s the fact that her skills managed to make a super fan out of Zac Efron that we really can’t get over. What started with Biles telling Ellen DeGeneres that her ultimate crush was Efron, ended in the gymnast getting a kiss on the cheek from the actor when he surprised her in Brazil on the Today show. Seriously, he kissed her! It was one of the most memorable Olympic moments of 2016 and we’re still not over it.
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No Pain, No Gain
In 2018, Biles found out that she had a kidney stone following some stomach pain, but instead of getting it taken out she decided to compete at the 2018 World Gymnastics Championships. “Nothing like a late night ER visit less than 24 hrs before world championships,” she tweeted at the time. “This kidney stone can wait…. doing it for my team! I’ll be gucci girls.”
Not only did she fight through the pain for the team, but she ended up as the highest overall female gymnast at the event helping secure Team USA the number one spot. Pretty darn impressive, don’t you think?
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Survivors Stick Together
In January 2018, Biles took the stand to speak out against former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar during his sexual assault hearing. After tweeting to her fans that she too was one of the survivors that was sexually abused by Nassar, she went to the trail, spoke up about her own trauma and then went on to support all of the other victims.
Months later, when competing at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships—where she became the first female to ever win five U.S. all-around titles—she wore a teal leotard to show solidarity with her surviving sisters. “(The color) is for the survivors,” Biles said (via the Associated Press). “I stand with all of them and I think it’s kind of special to unite (people).”
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Throughout her career, Biles has proven that she is an athlete to remember, and perhaps in women’s gymnastics she’s the greatest of all time. If she isn’t there yet, she’s pretty darn close and she has the records to prove it. For starters, Biles is the first woman to win four World all-around titles and in 2018 she became the first U.S. woman to win five national all-around titles. She has won an unprecedented 20 world medals (14 gold, three silver, three bronze), which is the most in U.S. history. With those 14 World gold medals, she becomes the only person in gymnastics history to have that many. She is also the most decorated U.S. women’s gymnast of all time with 25 World/Olympic medals.
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She Speaks the Truth
In 2019, Biles was named one of InStyle’s Badass 50 and she totally deserves the recognition. When talking with the magazine, Biles proved she is in fact a badass based on both her mantra and her totally relatable inner obstacles. “A badass is a woman who has confidence in herself, along with a bit of attitude and some swag,” Biles told InStyle when asked about her mantra.
As for what she believes stands in her way, it’s so honest and so normal. “The biggest obstacle that I’ve had to overcome is learning to have confidence in my abilities,” she said. “When I believe in myself, it always puts my nerves at ease and allows me to be my best.”