Gymnast who keeps rosary in her bag wins Olympic glory – twice
Simone Biles has won the women’s all-around Olympic gold medal for gymnastics
A gymnast who keeps her Rosary in her bag has won the women’s all-around Olympic gold medal for gymnastics.
Simone Biles, 19, who has won 10 World Championship medals in the past three years, scored 62.198 to win her second Olympic medal in Rio by a margin of more than two points.
After it ended Biles cried through laughter as she embraced her long-time coach, Aimee Boorman and fellow competitor, Amy Raisman who won silver.
Biles said: “Aimee and Aly told me I’d done it and when that hits you, you can’t stop the emotions.”
In a recent interview with Us Magazine, she revealed that she carried a white rosary in her gym bag. “My mum, Nellie, got me a rosary at church,” she told the magazine. “I don’t use it to pray before a competition. I’ll just pray normally to myself, but it’s there just in case.”
Biles’s mother had problems with drugs and alcohol and struggled to care for her and her sibling and so they were adopted by her grandparents, Ron and Nellie Biles, when she was five.
Biles is a Sunday Mass-goer. When she travels she sometimes takes with her a statue of St Sebastian, the patron saint of athletes. She also lights candles to the saint before big events.