With five Olympic medalsâ€”four of which are goldâ€”under her belt, gymnast Simone Biles wants everyone to know her journey to the top wasnâ€™t easy.
â€œI think itâ€™s important for young readers or young adults that read my book to know that even if youâ€™re an elite athlete or a professional athlete, we donâ€™t always have a smooth ride to successâ€”sometimes there are bumps in the road, and I felt the need to share it because I am comfortable with it,â€ Biles tells FOXBusiness.com.
She chronicles her life from foster care to her road to Rio, in her memoir, â€œCourage to Soar.â€
â€œI know Iâ€™m only 19 and Iâ€™m so young, but I just went to the Olympics. So to me, that was the perfect end to a good book,â€ adds Biles.
And at 4-foot-8 inches tall, Biles was the shortest member of the U.S. women's gymnastics team in Rio called â€œThe Final Five.â€ But even though sheâ€™s tiny, she makes up for it in her strengthâ€”and not just physically but mentally, too.
At the age of three, Biles was put into foster care along with her three siblings after her mother went to rehab due to a drugs and alcohol addiction.
â€œWe never did go back to live with Shanon (Bilesâ€™ biological mother), because she kept failing her drug tests. The social worker told her that if she could just pass a few tests in a row, theyâ€™d let us move back in with her. But she couldnâ€™t seem to stay sober,â€ Biles writes in her book.
Eventually, Biles and her younger sister were adopted by her grandparents, and thatâ€™s when her road to Rio soon began at the age of six after her natural talent was discovered at a daycare field trip.
â€œI think itâ€™s important for people to know that even if youâ€™re a foster kid, you can still become something,â€ she says. â€œI believe in life that everything happens for a reason, and my reason was to get adopted and become the young woman that I am today.â€
She also wants to urge young women to visualize their dreams, set goals along the way and, most importantly, know that everythingâ€”both good and badâ€”happens for a reason.