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Leave Simone Biles Alone!

Simone Biles won the hearts and attention of millions as the most decorated American gymnast after winning four gold medals at the Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil. She currently possesses 19 Olympic and World Championship medals. At just 20 years old, Biles has been training all her life for this honor.

Biles began participating in gymnastics at the age of six years old. According to Biography, she discovered her natural talents early on, after visiting a gymnastics center on a field trip and being encouraged by the coaches to join the gym.

For 14 years, Biles has been training, working hard, and bringing home the gold. Biles hopes that her remarkable victories can serve as an inspiration for many young girls. “I think it inspires a lot of the little girls out there to go in the gym and train harder,” she said.

Even after her huge accomplishment in the 2016 Olympics, Biles continued to work hard and earn recognition. She competed on season 24 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars alongside professional dancer Sasha Farber.

Biles faced some controversy during the dance show, and not just for placing fourth in the competition, despite great scores. She was repeatedly encouraged by judge Carrie Ann Inaba to show more of her personality during the dances. After weeks of hearing the same comment, Biles finally responded, “Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.”

Unfortunately, Simone has not completely escaped this controversy. After finishing her season on DWTS, Biles finally decided to take some time out of the spotlight and away from the gym.

The 20-year-old has been spending a lot of her time with family and vacationing on a well-deserved break, after working incredibly hard for 14 years. Recently, she has been relaxing beachside, donning sunglasses and a swimsuit.

While on vacation in Hawaii, Biles posted a picture of herself on Instagram. The picture is simply a selfie of Biles in her beachwear and sunglasses, holding a cup that says “Hawaii” on it. It appears to be a normal and appropriate vacation photo for any 20-year-old.

Unfortunately for Biles, some people think that because she is an Olympic gold medalist, she is not allowed to do things that other 20-year-olds can do. One Instagram user commented on the photo: “Seems like u have partied nonstop for a year #trash #unfollow #suckyassrolemodel.”

Biles, however, was not silent in the face of this criticism. According to TIME, she responded to the now-deleted comment: “Talk to me when you train for 14 years and earn 5 Olympic Medals … I think kids would say otherwise. My year off is well deserved! Take a couple seats.”

And the kids do indeed say otherwise. Fans responded with things like “You are an amazing role model in our opinions, girl.”

Not only is Biles criticized in gymnastics as she competes, but she is also judged in other areas, such as dance competitions and even her daily life. The 20-year-old can barely post a photo on Instagram without being criticized for taking a vacation from her busy life.

Yes, Simone, it is okay to take a well-deserved break, especially if you are an Olympic gold medalist. Enjoy Hawaii!

Featured Image by Agência Brasil Fotografias on Flickr
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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