Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles Celebrates Her Community Of Supportive Women
We probably don't have to tell you that Simone Biles is one of the most impressive, talented gymnasts of all time. But, just in case, here's a refresher: She's the most decorated World Championship American gymnast, with 30 medals to her name; she was the first woman gymnast to win three consecutive World All-Around titles; and she was the first American woman in 23 years to win three all-around national titles. (Trust us, that list can go on.)
While Biles is usually the one in the spotlight, through a new campaign with Athleta, she's shifting the focus to her supportive community. "I've learned your circle is everything," Biles shares with mindbodygreen. "You become who you hang out with; fortunately for me, it's all family/friends I can also look up to."
This latest chapter of Athleta's "Power of She" campaign—which celebrates the power of women coming together to create an impact, through a foundation of health and wellness—includes photos of Biles with her family, along with an inspiring video shot in her hometown gym in Spring, Texas. In the spot, we watch Biles stick an impressive switch leap and front tuck dismount, surrounded by her supportive mom, sister, teammates, and coaches.
"Simone embodies everything Athleta stands for, from inspiring women and girls to have the confidence to pursue their passions to leaning on the strength of her community," says Athleta chief brand officer Kyle Andrew. "For our first campaign, it was important for us to bring these shared values to life and show how we are reimagining what it means to sponsor an athlete—for us that means fully supporting Simone and showing that there's more to her than gold medals."
The new campaign is titled "Power of She, Power of We," and it really focuses on the individuals that helped shaped who Biles is today. (Following a year when we were reminded just how important social connection and community really is, this feels particularly poignant.) As part of the launch, Athleta spoke with a number of important people in her network, to get some deeper insight into the athlete's journey.
Her mom, Nellie Biles, shares how she always encouraged her daughter to believe in herself and seek help from her community whenever necessary. That level of guidance certainly influenced her ambition: Biles' mom shares with mbg, "When she was younger she journaled and wrote her goals for the rest of the year (long term and short term)."
Another influence in her life, coach Cecile Landi, reflects on how proud she is of the gymnast—not just for her talent but also her character. "She has grown to become an amazing young independent lady who still relies on her people," Landi says. "She isn't afraid of speaking up, telling her truth and sticking to it to make changes for the better for women all around the world! She is a true role model and inspiration. She is using her power for greater things."
You can find more words from Biles' loved ones on the campaign landing page, along with some of her top Athleta picks.
Kristine Thomason is the health and fitness director at mindbodygreen. Kristine is a New York University graduate with a degree in journalism and psychology, and also a NASM-certified personal trainer. She has spent her editorial career focused on health and well-being, and formerly worked for Women’s Health and Health. Her byline has also appeared in Men’s Health, Greatist, Refinery29, HGTV, and more. In her current role she oversees, edits, and writes for the health, food, and movement sections of mindbodygreen.