Olympic gymnast Simone Biles named 'Champion Honoree' at Barbara Sinatra Children's Center Luncheon

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - Simone Biles, America's most decorated gymnast with a combined 19 Olympic and World Championship medals, will be the "Champion Honoree'' at the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center's Champion Honors Luncheon on March 9 at the Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa in Indian Wells, it was announced Monday.

Biles, 20, will share her experiences with "a special celebrity'' at the annual luncheon to benefit the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center in Rancho Mirage, which focuses on child abuse prevention.

"We are delighted Simone is coming to share her incredible story of determination and accomplishment with us,'' said event chair Hal Gershowitz, a center trustee.

"Simone's achievements as a gymnast are astonishing, including four gold medals and three straight World titles, but it's inspiring that she has accomplished these accolades having begun her journey as a foster child,'' Gershowitz said. "Now, with the love and support of her adopted parents, she is committed to giving back through her work with foster kids and her family's 
Academy, the World Champions Center in Spring, Texas.''

Biles, who won four gold medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and is currently training to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, said she was "extremely honored'' to be selected as the annual luncheon's 
first female honoree.

"The Barbara Sinatra Center has impacted the lives of so many children and I am thrilled to be a part of this event to support the continued growth and efforts of this incredible organization,'' she said in a statement released by the center.

Athletes that have appeared at the luncheon in the past include Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Michael Phelps.

"While we have a history of attracting world-class athletes and sports executives to our luncheon, this will be our first female honoree and we are excited to have Simone as our headliner, especially in the middle of training for the 2020 Games in Tokyo,'' said John E. Thoresen, the center's executive officer.

For more information on the event, call the Children's Center at (760) 773-1636.

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