Eckerd in the News

From Foster to Famous: Simone Biles

Gymnast Simone Biles, 20, was a fan favorite during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Her unmatched skill level and contagious smile quickly catapulted the U.S. gold medalist into the hearts of millions.

What the crowds didn’t fully understand, however, was that unlike many of her peers, the Ohio native’s early childhood was extremely turbulent.

Her biological parents battled addiction, forcing Biles and her three siblings to be placed in foster care several times before her sixth birthday.

Ultimately the would-be Olympian found a forever home in Texas with her maternal grandfather, who encouraged her competitive dreams completely.

Following her Olympic debut, Biles has retained her celebrity status, appearing on Dancing with the Stars and doing national commercials on behalf of children in foster care.