(With VIDEO) SIMONE BILES, Record Setting, Gold Medal Winning African-American Olympic Gymnast, Is Chosen To Carry The American Flag for Team USA at the Closing Ceremony of 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil — Record Setting, Gold-Medal Winning, African-American Gymnast, SIMONE BILES; is chosen as Team USA Flag Bearer at the Closing Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The Closing Ceremony takes place on SUNDAY, August 21st 2016.

Copyright 2016 by Teofilo Colon Jr. (a.k.a. “Tio Teo”).  All Rights Reserved. Telephone: (646) 961-3674.

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In a statement, the 19 year old Superstar gymnast said,

“It’s an incredible honor to be selected as the flag bearer by my Team USA teammates.  This experience has been the dream of a lifetime for me and my team and I consider it a privilege to represent my country, the United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics by carrying our flag.  I also wish to thank the city of Rio de Janeiro, and the entire country of Brazil, for hosting an incredible Games.”  — Simone Biles

While Simone Biles being chosen to carry the American flag in the closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic Games were expected, given her success; it’s nevertheless been an amazing two weeks for Superstar African-American Gymnast SIMONE BILES as she dominated in the Gymnastics category in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.  She won four gold medals and one bronze medal, adding to her impressive 14 total medals previously won in World Championship competition.  With those 19 medals, Simone Biles becomes the most decorated American gymnast EVER.

Difficulty: Legendary

According to msn.com, Simone Biles is after Alfred Jochim in 1936, only the second American gymnast to carry the American flag in either the opening or closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games.

Being an African-American or Black American Gymnast, you may wonder why I have chosen to write about her for the BEING GARIFUNA website.  Well, as written about previously, a Garifuna person figured prominently in the raising of Simone Biles.  As detailed on this website, Simone Biles’s adopted step-grandmother Mrs. Nellie Biles helped raise her when Simone and her younger sister were formally adopted in 2003, when Simone Biles was six years old.

The New York Times newspaper reports that Mrs. Nellie Biles (formerly Nellie Cayetano) is from Belize City, Belize.  The New York Times didn’t use the term “Garifuna” in their article, but I do here as she is a Belizean woman of Garifuna descent or Garifuna heritage.  Mrs. Nellie Biles’s father was Silas Cayetano, a former teacher, Belize fishing and agricultural cooperative official and senator from Belize City, Belize.  I have heard that Mr. Silas Cayetano is actually from Barranco, Belize; but I have not confirmed that as of yet.

After the 2016 Olympics are over, Simone Biles and the Final Five Team USA Gymnasts will travel to New York City for press obligations and then embark on a 36-city Tour sponsored by Kellogg’s.

Being Garifuna extends a hearty Congratulations and Inebesei (“Respect” in the Garifuna Language) to Ms. Simone Biles and her family on Simone’s success in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.  It was a true team effort.

UPDATE:  MONDAY, August 21st 2016.  Video of American Gymnast Carrying the American Flag during yesterday’s closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

ABOUT The Garifuna People

The Garifuna people are people of African descent (in other words, Black people) whose ancestry can be traced to Africans mixing with Carib Indians and Arawak Indians on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent.  From this cultural fusion of race and ethnicities in St. Vincent Island, a distinct culture and language arose.

The Garifuna (then known as The Black Caribs) are noted for not only being the main source of resistance against European expansion into the Lesser Antilles over the course of over 150 years, but also being one of the few (only?) peoples of African descent (again, in other words, Black people) in the Americas to have maintained aspects of their ancestral culture and full use of their ancestral language for everyday use over the course of hundreds of years.

After being defeated in war with the British on St. Vincent in 1796; 1004 men,  1779 women and 1,555 children for a total of 4,338 people (mostly Black Caribs, as the Garifuna people were then known) were captured and taken to Baliceaux, a small island, a rock, basically, off the coast of St. Vincent.  This took place from July 1796 through February/March 1797.  About 2,000 Garifunas died of a mysterious and very infectious fever while living on Baliceaux awaiting their fate.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted via the PAYPAL website so your potential donations are SAFE and SECURE.

In early March 1797, the remaining Garifunas were loaded onto the HMS Experiment and other ships.  Once they were rounded up, the convoy were taken to a Bequia, which is another island off the coast of St. Vincent. They proceeded to go to Grenada to get water, then Jamaica for refueling, then finally Roatan, Honduras, arriving on April 12th 1797.

Finding much of Roatan unliveable, the Garifuna people petitioned officials representing Spain and it’s government (which controlled much of Central America at the time) to be allowed to move to the Honduran mainland.  Upon being allowed to move to the Honduran mainland, namely the port town of Trujillo, Honduras in May 1797. Subsequently, the Garifunas settled many towns and villages along the Caribbean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.

Finally, Garifuna People have also migrated to the United States of America where generations have settled in cities like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Boston, Miami and Boston.  Despite their mainly Spanish surnames, their culture and history are distinct from other Afro-American and Latino ethnic groups and it’s important to keep that in mind.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted via the PAYPAL website so your potential donations are SAFE and SECURE.

Gold Medal Winning Olympic Gymnast, SIMONE BILES carrying the American Flag during the Closing Ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Gold Medal Winning Olympic Gymnast, SIMONE BILES carrying the American Flag during the Closing Ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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