'The Simone Biles Story:' From Foster Care to America's Most Decorated Gymnast
LIFETIME, Feb. 3, 8:00 PM ET
By Barb Oates
After 13 years of training, Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles took some time off to catch up on life outside of a gymnasium post her epic 2016 Rio Olympic victories. Our country’s most decorated gymnast enjoyed a whirlwind of bucket-list experiences — she was honored as the 2017 Best Female Athlete at the ESPY Awards, she was a semifinalist in Dancing With the Stars, she released the book Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance, and now her book is being translated into a Lifetime original biopic.
Like the book, The Simone Biles Story (Saturday, Feb. 3 on Lifetime) begins with her childhood, following her journey from foster care — she was adopted by her maternal grandfather at age 6 — to her 2016 Olympic triumphs, capturing the highs and heartaches along the way. Biles recently took time out from her 32- to 36-hours-a-week training schedule to chat about her movie and what’s next for the 20-year-old superstar.
Tell us about going on set, watching your life played out by actors and reliving everything.
Simone Biles: They were shooting the Olympic scene, and I could not stop smiling because the arena they had set up — where we competed at in Rio — it looked exactly the same on set. It was kind of like I was back in Rio. It was very emotional, and exciting, and brought back all the feelings.
Your life is so inspirational. What do you want people watching to know about you?
To realize that I’m a normal person just like them, and it doesn’t matter where you start from, it’s where you go from there and your outlook on everything, and to try to be positive. I want them to realize that I was a kid going through some of the same struggles that they’re going through, and it’s just not like I was put into this. I had to work for it. I had goals. It took a lot of determination, a lot of sacrifices. Because people don’t see the mountains that you have to climb to see what you’ve achieved. They only see the outcome.
And speaking of the sacrifices, people also don’t realize how difficult it is to be missing out on normal school life.
You don’t get to go to the football games, you don’t get to go to the prom, the homecoming, and that’s like a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing, you know? You dream of going to prom, and going to all the school dances, and all of this, and just living out that high-school journey. I was home-schooled, so I didn’t get to experience any of that.
As for the 2020 Olympics?
I mean 2020 would be the ultimate goal, but you just never know what God has planned for you.
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