The 16-year-old from Spring won the women’s all-around gold medal at the world championships in Belgium. She became the first black gymnast to become a world champion.
“It was very emotional for us. I mean we were very happy about the fact that she did achieve that,” her mom Nellie Biles said.
But her shining moment was tarnished by what some are calling a racist comment.
After the competition, in a video interview, Italy’s Carlotta Ferlito told the interviewer, ‘…next time we’ll have our skin black so we can win, too.’
Simone and her family were disappointed, but they didn’t let the comments get them down.
“My thing was to make sure I console her, and she just keeps her achievements first and foremost and not lose sight of that,” Nellie said.
The Italian Federation President quickly apologized for Ferlito’s statements, and she did some backpedaling, too.
She took to Twitter to say she was sorry and that she didn’t mean to sound rude or racist. Ferlito admits it was a make, and that she just wasn’t thinking before she spoke.
As for Biles’ family, they`re ready to put the whole ordeal behind them and just focus on the big win!