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Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles on Faith and Courage

Simone Biles won five medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, and now she talks to CBN about her faith and her new book, Courage to Soar. Read Transcript


NARRATOR: Simone Biles won our hearts and five medals,

four of them gold, at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

She says her time with her Olympic teammates

is something she will never forget.

To be part of the Final Five was really amazing.

It's something I'll cherish in my heart forever.

And it's something that we'll always

be connected with because we did so well at the games.

And the bond that we've had, we're like sisters.

So we really are good friends and we

want the best for each other.

So the success that we brought back to the states

and shared with them was something unbelievable.

NARRATOR: Simone is the most decorated American gymnast

and a four time all-around gymnastics champion.

A testament to her love of the sport that

began when she was a child.

I guess I loved the freedom of the sport.

There was no right or wrong that you could do.

You didn't have to have one particular body type.

You made everything mold into what you were born with.

So I think God gives every individual something special,

and mine was talent.

So to never take it for granted.

Which my dad always told me, don't waste God's gift

that he gave you.

Because it's like it's a once in a lifetime

opportunity and one day I'll be too old to do gymnastics.

So for now, I have to use it to the best of my ability.

NARRATOR: Her journey to the top has not been easy,

and began with a turbulent home life.

My biological mom was suffering

with drugs and alcohol I do believe,

and so we were taken into foster care.

And we were in foster care for a little bit

until my grandparents decided to take us in.

So then that's kind of when our life reformed and everything.

NARRATOR: Her grandmother Nellie, whom Simone now

calls mom, says God opened her heart

to adopt Simone and her sister Adria.

It was meant to be.

I mean, without a shadow of a doubt,

nothing was supposed to be different.

And it's the best decision we've ever made.

NARRATOR: Since then, Nellie has encouraged

Simone to put her life and career in God's hands.

I am a very prayerful person, and I encourage my children

to do the same thing too, to pray.

And I know it doesn't matter what situation you're ever

read.

You just put it in the hands of the Lord

and He's going to walk you through it.

I was taught that you can go to Him for anything,

and He is the one that directs your life.

She would always tell us, if you don't know, leave it up to God.

Pray to Him about it.

NARRATOR: Simone says she sees God's hand in her success

and also in her disappointments, like the time she

failed to make the 2011 team.

I didn't make National Team, so I

was super upset about that.

But I knew that it was God's way of telling me

I needed to go home, train harder,

so that next year I could make it happen.

So I believe that some obstacles that we've had

always work out for the better, because God

knows that without those you wouldn't

be as strong as you were.

NARRATOR: Nellie says her proudest moments have

come from Simone's ability to make hard decisions

and to stick by them.

The fact that Simone made difficult decisions

at a very early age made her a stronger person.

I think the proudest moment that I had of Simone's life

is her telling me she wants to go on elite track of gymnastics

to compete for her country.

A little girl told me that, and she did it.

NARRATOR: In her new book, "Courage to Soar,"

Simone shares her life story, including her

struggles with body image.

I didn't struggle with like weight issues,

it was just more of body image because I

didn't look like the other kids in my class.

I looked more like the boys.

I was stronger than most of the girls,

stronger than most of the boys too even.

Whenever I was younger I would try to hide my muscles.

So I'm like it's not that pretty.

But now I'm just like muscles are beauty.

And I think people are slowly starting

to realize that you can be muscular and a female

and be beautiful at the same time.

So I think it's important for kids and gymnasts

particularly to understand that.

Because we wouldn't be able to do what we do if we didn't

have the muscular body build.

NARRATOR: As she looks to the future,

Simone says she will continue to give

all she's got with the talent that God gave her.

And she encourages others to do the same.

You're so young when you think of all these dreams

and you're like oh, it'll never come happen.

But once you put hard work and dedication into it,

you can really achieve anything.

I think the mind is one of the strongest things you have.

I hope before I end my career, I give

all of my energy and effort and my talent towards that sport

before I finally like hang up my grips and say I'm done.

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