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This US gymnast's coach recalls the moment she realised the athlete was a prodigy, aged 6

“I was like, ‘Wow, this kid is something.”

Simone Biles competes on the balance beam during the US women's gymnastics championships.
Simone Biles competes on the balance beam during the US women's gymnastics championships.
Image: Jeff Roberson

AMERICAN GYMNAST SIMONE Biles is expected to be one of the stars of the Rio Olympics.

Biles wasn’t old enough to compete at the 2012 Olympics, but after winning 14 medals, 10 gold, in the last three years, she’s ready for the big stage at age 19.

Simply put, Biles is perhaps the strongest, most explosive gymnast in the world, with incomparable athleticism that gives her a natural step up on her competition.

Evidently that’s always been the case as her long-time coach Aimee Boorman told Lonnae O’Neal of ESPN’s The Undefeated. Boorman recalled seeing Biles do something at six years old that let her know Biles simply isn’t like other humans.

According to Boorman, Biles was sitting on the floor with her legs out in front of her. That’s when she put her hands out at her side, pushed down, tucked her legs underneath her, and flipped over into a plank position (a position similar to a push-up).

Olympics Trials Womens Gymnastics Simone Biles competes on the uneven bars during the women's US Olympic gymnastics trials. Source: Gregory Bull

“At 6,” Boorman said. “That’s not normal.”

Boorman also recalled watching Biles wait in line for her turn on the bars. From a sitting position, on a floor with no spring, Biles then bounced from her bottom onto her feet, unassisted.

I was like, ‘Wow, this kid is something,’” Boorman told O’Neal.

It’s this kind of natural athleticism that allows Biles to pull off “The Biles,” as O’Neal points out — double flip, legs straightened, with a half-twist at the end. Biles is the only gymnast to do it in competition. And Rio 2016 could be when she shows it off with the world watching.

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