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Simone Biles bringing international exposure to Belize

Posted: Friday, August 12, 2016. 9:12 am CST.


By BBN Staff: Simone Biles, the 19-year-old US gymnast currently dominating the Rio Olympics who holds dual citizenship with Belize, is bringing immense international exposure to the country as she embraces Belize as her second home.

Biles, whose grandmother is originally from Belize, has publicly stated her affection for visiting Belize. As Biles won her second gold medal in Rio this week, a team from the New York Times traveled to Belize to get to know more about her roots and her family.

The piece by the New York Times included several quotes from Belize’s first lady Kim Simplis-Barrow and several relatives. The article chronicled the family’s journey, mainly Simone’s grandmother Nellie, from Belize to the US where she met her husband Ron. It also detailed the drug addiction Simone’s biological mother suffered and her subsequent adoption by her grandparents.

With all the notoriety Simone has been getting, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) took the opportunity to invite Biles and the entire final five to visit Belize when the Rio Olympics is over.

The BTB tweeted:  “Congrats @simone_biles! Belize is so proud of you. We’d love to host you and the entire #FinalFive on a vacation once you’re ready to relax.”

The Board is offering a five-day all expenses paid vacation to the finalists.

(Photo: Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports)

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