She is the most decorated American gymnast of all time, and now Simone Biles has her sights set on an even bigger prize.“I was committed to UCLA before I went to the Olympics, and unfortunately I decided, I deferred. And then I didn’t go because after the Olympics things got crazy, I traveled so much.”
In her quest for a college degree, Biles’s travels have now led her to the virtual doorstep of an online school.“Hi, everyone.I’m so excited to announce that I’m now a global ambassador for the University of the People,the world’s first tuition free accredited online university.”
The accredited online university offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business,as well as undergraduate degrees in computer science and health science.The university relies solely on donations and volunteer educators from schools like Yale, NYU and UC Berkeley.It’s unconventional approach is perfect for its latest student, whose journey thus far has been anything but ordinary.
“I haven’t had a traditional school experience for a while, actually going into a classroom and sitting down.And the traditional way won’t work for me and I understand that. So it’s okay... online it is.”
Perhaps it’s a bid for a bit of normalcy, after the recent sex abuse scandal involving Larry Nasser rocked the gymnastics wold.Biles’ name was one of the biggest to be added to the list of victims, but she is ready to move on.
“I didn’t want the headlines, once I go out and compete again, to be, you know, that would be the title of me, rather than what I have to offer for this sport.”
Biles has dreams beyond gymnastics, to pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with the same determination that has defined her athletic career.
“I feel like I’ve always been dedicated, and you know I never stopped until I got what I wanted. So being driven helps.”
Tina Trinh VOA News New York