Simone Biles has been inspiring children since almost the first time she tumbled into the international world of gymnastics competitions in 2013. Her journey from foster care to Olympic gold medalist has shown that with determination and hard work (a lot of hard work), anything is possible. At 24 years old, Biles is the most decorated gymnast in history thanks to her combined 30 Olympic and World Championship medals. But as impressive as Biles’ resume is, there’s nothing quite like actually watching her fly, flip, and twist through the air as these captivated kids prove.
One day after removing herself from the women’s gymnastic team final at the Tokyo Games after losing her bearings mid-air on a vault rotation, Biles withdrew from the individual all-around competition to protect and prioritize her mental health. Prior to announcing her decision to withdraw, Biles, who’s widely regarded as being the greatest gymnast of all time, noted on Instagram that she “truly” did “feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders.”
“I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard,” she wrote.
But perhaps Tokyo is where Biles shared with young fans her most important lesson yet: Take care of yourself. While a number of Olympic gymnasts have, in the past, been pressured to continue competing even when seriously injured — often exacerbating their injury to the point where it becomes career-ending, Biles had the courage to prioritize her own health and well-being.
Below, 10 captivated kids prove Biles will always serve as an inspiration to those who dare to dream big: