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Black Community Opinions

Local Voices: Salute to Biles

By John L. Horton

Once in every lifetime comes an athletic phenomenon that we are privileged to watch…and celebrate. Now is such a time and place. Amongst us, walks a “living legend,” and she is only 19 years old. She is probably the greatest female gymnast who has ever lived … and she is continually improving … just in time for the 2016 Rio Olympics. She is … Simone Biles, Olympic and World Champion Gymnast.

If I had not witnessed it myself, I would not have believed it. I have been a gymnastic enthusiast for decades and decades. I believe it to be one of the most challenging and difficult sports that there is … and with such a short-lived career span for competitiveness and superiority. I firmly believe that Simone Biles will go down as one of the greatest athletes of all time … in any sport. Among her many achievements, Biles won four gold medals and a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics, which concluded on August 21.

And, Biles was given the honor of being the American flag bearer at the Rio Olympics Closing Ceremonies. Additionally, Biles has been chosen to be featured on the renown “Wheaties Box.” Only so-called “Sports Legends” are selected for this distinguished honor. The very best of the best. At the recent national women’s tournament in St. Louis, (June 24 and 26, 2016), Biles won her fourth consecutive national title in the all-around events and gold medals in three of the four individual events.

This has not been done by a female gymnast in 42 years. Almost every gymnastic coach, trainer and expert agree that “Biles is the very best that they have ever seen…and she is getting better and better….” Recently, Biles has been getting the national and international accolades that she so richly deserves. Therefore, let us all appreciate this truly once in a lifetime athletic phenomenon. In her sport, she is the absolutely “G.O.A.T.” (Greatest Of All Time) Accordingly, I offer my heartfelt praise to Simone Biles with the utmost admiration in the following ode:


You made it look like fun.
You performed incredibly before everyone.
You passed the ultimate athletic test.
You became champion of the very best.

You stood magnificently before the world.
You shone as our “new” Olympic Girl.
You mastered every twist and twirl.
You were our beautiful Black pearl.

You overcame hardships alone the way.
You practiced hard each and every day.
You achieved with smiles, style and sway.
You turned your work into amazing play.

John L. Horton is a resident of Norfolk and a frequent contributor to this newspaper.

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