July 29, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) Two-time world women's gymnastics champion Simone Biles is going pro.

Biles announced Tuesday she has signed an agreement with Octagon, giving up her amateur eligibility as she prepares to make a run at gold in the 2016 Summer Olympics. The 18-year-old from Spring, Texas, had verbally committed to competing for UCLA after the Olympics and was a finalist for the 2014 Sullivan Award, given annually to the nation's top amateur athlete.

Biles said she made the decision so she has ''the necessary support and guidance in handling opportunities and demands outside of the gym.'' She will attempt to become the first woman since Kim Zmeskal to win three straight national titles at the U.S. championships in Indianapolis next month.

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