City of Houston

Simone Biles Gets Royal Welcome At Bush Airport And Returns The Love

Simone Biles returns to Houston to a cheering crowd, including elected officials, and band music.

The 4-foot-8-inch gymnast from Spring appeared in the doorway at the international terminal shortly after noon Tuesday.

On cue, the Klein Oak High School band started playing and the crowd cheered.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner guided Simone Biles through the crowd. They made their way to a podium with a sign that read, "Houston Welcomes Home Simone Biles," along with a picture of four gold and a bronze medal.

Behind them, balloons formed a giant American flag.

"Hi guys, I'm Simone Biles," Biles said with a chuckle. "And I can't thank everyone and all of Houston for coming out to see me today and to welcome me from Rio and... I don't know what else to say, I'm nervous! And I love you guys!"

Mayor Turner congratulated Biles for her accomplishments on the world stage.

"We were excited before the Olympics," he said. "We've been more excited today, the whole Houston region – not just the city of Houston but the whole Houston region. And we're excited about all of those who participated in the Olympics."

The mayor then proclaimed Aug. 24, 2016, "Simone Biles Day" in Houston.

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, R-Houston, said Biles is an inspiration to all boys and girls across the country, "and I want them to know that because of you, Simone, whatever their dream is, they can achieve it."

Jackson Lee then handed Biles a flag that recently flew over the U.S. Capitol in her honor.

Biles was sporting the contagious smile many Americans learned to love during the past two weeks.

The four gold medals and one bronze she won in Rio make her the most decorated U.S. gymnast ever in a single Olympics.


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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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