Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles's Remarkable Story Will Remind You to Stop & Listen to Your Kids

simone bilesBehind every athlete who makes it to the Olympics is a parent who spent countless hours driving to practices, packing up equipment and cheering from the sidelines until their throats were raw. Take, for example, 19-year-old star gymnast Simone Biles. Headed to the Olympics this August, Biles is making headlines for her high-powered floor routines and unsurpassed skills -- but it all started with the encouragement of her parents.

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The three-time US all-around gymnastics champion (who recently won her fourth national title) had a rough start in life: Born to a mother addicted to drugs and alcohol, Simone was placed in foster care as a young girl before being adopted by her maternal grandfather, Ron, and his wife, Nellie. The couple officially adopted Simone and her sister in 2003, and enrolled Simone in her first gymnastics class in Houston at the age of 6. The rest, as they say, was history -- and an endless stream of support, as a new video honoring the bond between Simone and Nellie from Olympic sponsor Procter & Gamble shows.  

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What an amazing story, and what an amazing message for parents everywhere!

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Sometimes, the most important thing we can do as parents is to listen to our kids -- really listen to them -- and to honor their hopes and dreams in a way that shows them we'll be there no matter what happens. We have so much on our plates as parents today, and it can be all too easy to tune out our kids when they share their fledgling interests and goals. It also can be easy to get bogged down in thinking about practicalities and worrying about the possibility of failure. It takes a deep sense of humility and an even stronger sense of faith to be the source of optimism and strength that a kid needs as a foundation in order to truly soar. Nellie summed it all up, I think, in the last line of the video:

"I thank the Lord that I listened to Simone, and that I allowed Simone to even pursue that dream."

The rest of the world is thanking the Lord for that, too!

 

Image via P&G (Procter & Gamble)/YouTube

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