With the Olympics underway taking place in beautiful Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, all eyes are glued to television screens watching the world’s most elite athletes compete for coveted medals. But there are a few that stand above the rest, figuratively and literally when on the podium for awards. One such athlete has been on everyone’s radar, taking the gymnastics world by storm. Her name: Simone Byles.Since competing professionally in 2011, nineteen year old Simone catapulted into history by becoming the most decorated female gymnast in American history, having a combined total of nineteen Olympic and World Championship medals.In the past week, the pint-sized phenom delivered at this year’s Olympic Games, captivating onlookers and securing gold medals in the team, all-around, floor and vault exercises and received a bronze for her efforts on the balance beam. You read that right: four gold medals and a bronze in the space of a few days.And have you seen her leotards? Giving nods to the colors of the American flag and covered in dazzling Swarovski crystals, doing a double-layout punch front has never looked so resplendent. Aside from tumbling her way into the hearts of many, Simone has also landed a slew of endorsement deals with huge companies like Nike, Kellog’s, Hershey, and Procter & Gamble, propelling her way into commercial success.Her accomplishments are indicative of her fervent determination as far as the sport is concerned, but there’s so much more than winning medals. In a sport that doesn’t see a myriad of African-American women compete, it’s so important for her to be a positive representative for black girls everywhere who participate in artistic gymnastics. From Dominique Dawes in the 90’s to another decorated teammate, Gabby Douglas, Simone is the perfect person to pass this torch to.
Though all eyes are on her, it doesn’t seem like she lets any of the attention get to her head. Being a beacon of hope and inspiration for many young black girls the world over can be a bit daunting. But she’s focused, accomplished, but most of all, wears such an inviting smile and exudes so much humility.
So, join us in congratulating this week’s Woman Crush Wednesday, Simone Biles on all of her achievements, especially those at this year’s Olympics! This just goes to show how much magic there is in melanin.