Rio Olympics 2016: Simone Biles - The gymnast everyone can't stop watching

United States' Simone Biles performs on the balance beam. Photo / AP
United States' Simone Biles performs on the balance beam. Photo / AP

By now, you've probably heard of Team USA gymnast Simone Biles.

At just 4 feet 8 inches tall, she is the smallest of all 554 American athletes competing in Rio, and the pint-sized powerhouse has captured the hearts of her home country, as well as the rest of the world.

The unstoppable teenager's infectious grin has already become one of America's favourite images of the 2016 Olympics, and "The 4'8" Giant", as she's been affectionately dubbed, continues to assert her position as one of the most dominating gymnasts the sport has ever seen.

On Tuesday night, the 19-year-old from Texas led Team USA's "Final Five" in bringing home a gold medal in the women's team final. The ladies in red, white and blue crystal-covered leotards destroyed the competition, taking the top spot with a score of 184.897 and defeating silver medallists Russia by a whopping 8.209 points - the largest margin of victory under current scoring.

"The three favourites are USA, USA and USA," the commentator said before the event got under way. He was not wrong.

After putting on a breathtaking performance in all 12 routines across four events, the ecstatic "Final Five" - Laurie Hernandez, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian and Simone Biles - strolled away with their first gold medal, biting into their bling for the cameras.

Biles, who is being widely touted as "perhaps the best female gymnast in history" and "a once-in-a-lifetime athlete", was a huge part of her team's epic win, producing the best vault, beam and floor routines of the competition.

To try to put her greatness into perspective, most top gymnasts are dominant in one event but Biles is the exception. She is basically unbeatable on the floor, on the vault, and on the beam.

Her insane floor exercise routine even includes a manoeuvre called "The Biles" that apparently no one else even attempts.

"At this point in time, nobody can beat Simone Biles," former Olympic Gold medallist Nastia Liukin, turned Rio gymnastics commentator declared.

Within the gymnastics community, her dominance has long been established. Biles is already the most successful woman in the history of the World Championships, with 10 gold medals accumulated over the past three years. But she is poised to make history this week as she goes for gold in five events. If successful, Biles will become the first female gymnast - and only the second woman in any discipline - to win five gold medals at a single Games. Her gravity-defying routines are so difficult that she is predicted to walk away with each and every one of them.

And the world can't get enough of the athletic wonder, already the darling of the 2016 Olympics. Biles is majestic, not only in her signature event, the floor routine, but in all four events.

Twitter lit up yesterday as the world watched on in awe of her "superhuman" abilities. Many even commented that it's impossible to watch her without getting chills.

If you weren't already part of the Simon Biles Appreciation Society, this is what the champion sportswoman had to say about fame:

"I never really think about it, because it's something you can't expect and you don't know what it's going to be like until it happens. So I just do everyday life."

She's also chosen samba beats to accompany her floor routine because "we're in Brazil and because the music fits my personality".

On top of that, is seems Biles is just like any other teenager, admitting she's a Justin Bieber fan and has a mega crush on Zac Efron.

And it seems the feeling is mutual.

All eyes will be on Biles ahead of tomorrow's individual all-round competition. She's a heavy favourite to take it out, but win or lose, this woman is destined for greatness at the Rio Olympics.


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