On July 25, the US Women’s Gymnastics Team began their quest for gold in the team competition at the Tokyo Olympics. All-time great Simon Biles may be the headliner for the squad, but the Americans have once again fielded a star-studded team of gymnasts.
The moment was a particularly important one for Vancouver, Washington’s Jordan Chiles, who made her Olympic debut after nearly quitting gymnastics just a few years ago. Fresh off of becoming the first-ever women’s all-around Winter Cup champion in February, Chiles is looking to take the next step in her career at the Summer Games.
Through all the ups and down, her mother, Gina Chiles, has been by her side. More recently, though, Gina has been generating nearly as many headlines as he daughter.
Here are five things you need to know about Jordan’s mom…
1. Gina Chiles Was Found Guilty of Wire Fraud
Although Jordan’s Olympic dreams are currently being realized, her mother’s life is going in a different direction entirely. Earlier this year, Gina was sentenced to one year and one day in prison after pleading guilty to charges of wire fraud.
As reported by CBS 42, the elder Chiles admitted to embezzling $1.2 million from clients of her business, Inspire Vision Property Management, a commercial properties management business. Chiles spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of the money she stole on personal expenses.
Per court documents, Chiles “had stolen so much she could no longer cover the resulting shortfalls by moving clients’ money around.” One client, Karla Pearlstein, is said to have lost $945,000.
2. Her Prison Sentence Was Delayed So She Could Support Jordan Throughout the Olympics
Gina was originally slated to begin serving her time on the very same day that Jordan and Team USA would compete in the team final. However, as reported by People, her attorneys filed a motion July 13 asking the court to allow her to self-surrender on Aug. 26.
The reason: it would give Jordan “some additional time to have her mother’s emotional support and guidance during such a monumental time in her young life.” The Tokyo Olympics run through Aug. 8.
In response, a federal judge reportedly approved a 30-day delay in the start of Gina’s prison sentence on Wednesday. The prosecution in the case didn’t issue any objection to the motion, per court documents.
3. She Moved to Texas to Be With Her Daughter as She Trained With Simone Biles
At one point, Jordan had become fed up with gymnastics and wanted to quit the sport. She eventually reconsidered, deciding she wanted to go for Olympic gold. Nevertheless, the star gymnast needed to switch things up. So, in 2019, she asked her parents if she could move to Texas to train with Biles.
“She doesn’t ever ask for anything in regard to gymnastics,” Gina said, via Clark County Today. “This is something she asked. ‘If you are 100 percent sure, we’ll do whatever we can to support it.’ … Here I am, in Texas.”
Although Jordan’s father, Timothy, stayed home in Vancouver, Gina ultimately moved with her daughter to the Lone Star state. However, the pair received regular visits from the Chiles patriarch.
“We try not to go longer than three weeks. I love that man. He loves me. It’s difficult, but it’s worth it,” Gina said. “Jordan is the baby of five kids. Our kids are grown, they’re older, living their lives. They 100 percent support Jordan.”
4. Chiles Wrote a Children’s Book Inspired By Her Daughter
During the time that Jordan was unsure about her gymnastics future, Gina was inspired to write a children’s book about her struggle. Thus, “Dream Big Little Chick” was born. The main character was named as such due to Jordan’s “Chick” nickname.
“I came up with a story when Jordan was not feeling gymnastics, it was just kind of a tough time,” Gina told KOIN. “So I wanted to base it off of her journey and her story.”
In the book, Little Chick has dreams of making it to the Animal Olympics, per the book’s Amazon synopsis. However, her friends make fun of her when she shares those dreams with them. From there, the book tells the story of Chick’s family rallying behind her as she learns how to dream big.
“This was something she’s always wanted to do and so actually seeing it in person and accomplishing something that’s been her dream is very amazing,” Jordan remarked at the time.
5. She and Her Husband Are Ministers
Gina and her husband are listed as senior pastors with the According to His Word (AHW) Worship Center in Vancouver.
Per their church bio page, Timothy had previously traveled the nation ministering alongside his father. During that time, Tim Sr. preached “in various churches and tent revivals.” Later, he was inspired to found AHS and, since that time, Gina and several other members of the Chiles family have joined him in his ministering endeavors.