The Courier-Mail

SIMONE BILES

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USA, gymnastics

Became an instant national hero when she won four gold medals in seven days in Rio, part of a staggering haul of 30 Olympic and world w championsh­ip medals. m

Raised through foster care and then by her grandfathe­r, she home schooled from age 12 so she could train 32 hours a week. Not since Vera Caslavska took gold for the second time in 1968 has anyone defended the coveted allround title she won in Rio. If she does not beat herself, no one else will.

She will enter Tokyo as a huge favourite to become the oldest woman in more than five decades to win the Olympic all-around title and the first repeat champion since Vera Caslavska did it for the former Czechoslov­akia in 1968.

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