Two days after leading the United States to a team championship, Simone Biles and Kyla Ross will take center stage Friday at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Nanning, China, in the women’s all-around final.
The two teenagers have been at the top of the gymnastics world for the past two years — literally. Biles and Ross finished 1–2 in the all-around at last year’s world championships as well as the past two national championships.
As the two gymnasts go for another 1–2 finish in Nanning, we took a side-by-side look at the two gymnasts who are very close friends.
Biles: She watched the gymnastics competition in the 2012 Olympic Games at her former training home, Bannon’s Gymnastix in Houston.
Ross: At 15 years old, she was the youngest member of the “Fierce Five” women’s squad that won a team gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
2014 World Championships
Biles: Qualified for four individual finals — all-around, vault, balance beam and floor exercise — with the top qualifying scores in each. Biles began the team finals by hitting a score of 15.866 on the vault, the highest score of the day.
Ross: Qualified for the all-around and balance beam finals. Her all-around score was the fifth best in qualifying. She is nursing an injured hip.
2014 P&G Gymnastics Championships
Biles: Gold medalist in all-around, floor exercise and vault; silver medalist in balance beam.
Ross: Gold medalist in balance beam; silver medalist in all-around.
2013 World Championships
Biles: Gold medalist in all-around and floor exercise, silver medalist in vault, bronze medalist in balance beam. Finished fourth on the uneven bars.
Ross: Silver medalist in all-around, uneven bars and balance beam. Tied for fifth on floor exercise.
Biles: Aimee Boorman
Ross: Jenny Liang
Biles: World Champions Centre, Spring, Texas
Ross: Gym-Max Gymnastics, Costa Mesa, California
Biles: Columbus, Ohio (March 14, 1997)
Ross: Aliso Viejo, California (Oct. 24, 1996)
Biles: Nellie and Ronald Biles
Ross: Kiana and Jason Ross. Jason was a Triple-A baseball player.
Biles: The Hunger Games series
Ross: The Hunger Games series
Biles: Floor exercise
Ross: All of them
On their friendship
Biles: “We’re always saying we’re like twins because we always have the same shoes or the same sweatshirt.”
Ross: “I feel like the whole national team, we’re all super close. We’ve known each other since we were like 11 or 12 years old.”
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Speaking from China
Biles: “Tough times don’t last. Tough teams do."
Ross: “Red leotard calls for red lips”
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1990 and was Olympic assistant bureau chief for Morris Communications at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. He also writes about Olympic sports for the Springfield (Mass.) Republican. Bowker has written for TeamUSA.org since 2010 as a freelance contributor on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.