ECPA's Rush To Press

Simone Biles Tells Her Inspiring Story
in Official Autobiography

Grand Rapids, MI— September 6, 2016 — Olympic gold medalist and World Champion gymnast Simone Biles has an inspiring story to tell in her new autobiography – Courage to Soar – from Zondervan. The official autobiography written with New York Times bestselling author Michelle Buford, will be on sale November 15, 2016, and features a foreword by Mary Lou Retton.

Simone’s entrance into the world of gymnastics started unexpectedly, but her natural talent and drive have made her into one of the top gymnasts in the world. The joyful, often smiling 19-year-old is the first woman to win three consecutive world all-around titles which have been followed by an impressive achievement of earning four gold medals and one bronze at the 2o16 Olympic Games in Rio. This inspiring young athlete set a new American record for most gold medals received in women’s gymnastics at a single Games (four) and is the most decorated American female gymnast in World Championships history with a total of fourteen medals, including ten gold.  The first African-American to be world all-around champion, Simone is known for her never-give-up spirit, her passion and her determination.

“I want people to reach for their dreams. If you’re willing to put in a lot of work, and if you’re focused and determined, you can go really far. That doesn’t mean everything will happen overnight; for me, it took years of training and perseverance to reach my goals. But looking back on it now, I’m glad I didn’t give up. There so many people who have inspired me with their love and encouragement along the way — and I want to pass on that inspiration to readers,” said Biles.

In Courage to Soar, Simone gives readers a never-before-seen look at her life. In her own words and photos, Simone reveals how challenges in her childhood have shaped her into the young woman and role model she is today. She shares the ups and downs of her life, insights into her positive mental approach, and her inspiring journey to the pinnacle of her sport. She also sets an example to always have fun, no matter the pressure.

“Simone’s life and story will equip countless fans with the courage and motivation to move beyond ‘life as it seems.’ Her mega-watt smile and poise, not to mention dedicated demeanor, set her apart. We could not be happier to work with Simone and her family on this project,” said Annette Bourland, senior vice president and group publisher at Zondervan.

“I feel honored to work with Zondervan. They publish so many great stories that inspire readers to live their lives with purpose. Growing up, I always loved reading about other people’s experiences, so it’s cool that I’ve had the chance to partner with Zondervan and tell my own story,” said Biles.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest female gymnasts of all time, Simone’s accomplishments in the gym have earned the distinct honor of a signature move – The Biles – that will forever be part of the sports’ history. Simone has been recognized as one of TIME  magazine’s “Next Generation Leaders” for 2016, Woman’s Sports Foundation “SportsWoman of the Year” and USOC’s “Athlete of the Year” for 2015.

Courage to Soar available formats releasing on November 15, 2016:

Hardcover edition: ISBN 9780310759669, Price $24.99
ePub edition: ISBN 9780310759522, Price $19.99
Audio Edition: ISBN 9780310759492, Price $18.99

Media Contacts:

Chris Roslan                                      Londa Alderink

President, Roslan & Campion        Vice President of Marketing & PR, Zondervan                      

212-966-4600                                    616-698-3246


About the Author:

SIMONE BILES is a four-time Olympic gold medalist and a three-time World all-around gymnastics champion. In 2015 at the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, she became the only female gymnast to ever win three consecutive all-around titles. She is also the most decorated American female gymnast, with a total of nineteen medals, fourteen of them gold. Simone, who was born in Ohio and later adopted by her grandparents in Texas, began her training at age 6. During a serendipitous day care field trip to Bannon’s Gymnastix, a coach recognized Simone’s natural talent and sent home a letter to her parents, requesting that they enroll her in a class. Simone rose quickly through the sport’s levels, and in 2011, she began her junior elite career at the American Classics in Huntsville, Texas, where she placed third all-around. Amid a few setbacks in the following two seasons, Simone rebounded in 2013 to claim the first of her three all-around World Championship titles. With her strong faith in God and her triumph against the odds, Simone is inspiring millions to dream big and follow their hearts.

Simone Biles is represented by Janey Miller of Octagon and Farley Chase of Chase Literary Agency.

About the Biographer:  MICHELLE BURFORD is a #1 New York Times bestselling collaborative writer and a founding editor of O, The Oprah Magazine. She is a Harvard-trained journalist whose work has taken her to more than 35 countries on six continents. A native of Phoenix, Michelle now resides in New York City. Visit her online at

Zondervan, part of HarperCollins is a world-leading provider of Christian communications and delivers transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, MI. For additional information, please visit