Simone Biles, the most decorated American gymnast of all time, has returned to competition after a two-year break from the sport. She won her first medal since winning four golds at the 2016 Rio Olympics with a bronze on balance beam.
Simone Biles is a gymnast who has won a total of four Olympic medals, two gold and two bronze. She was the first American to win an individual all-around medal at the Olympics since Mary Lou Retton in 1984.
TOKYO, Japan — Simone Biles finished the 2020 Olympic Games on the balancing beam with a bronze medal.
Biles returned to compete on Tuesday, the penultimate day of events for artistic gymnastics, after missing the finals on vault, uneven bars, and floor exercise, as well as the all-around. She received a standing ovation from her colleagues and hundreds of spectators at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre and finished third out of eight competitors.
“Withdrawing from all those contests wasn’t easy,” Biles remarked. “People simply thought it was simple, but I wasn’t in the proper frame of mind physically or psychologically, and I didn’t want to risk my health and safety because, at the end of the day, it’s not worth it.”
“My emotional and physical well-being is more important than any medal I could ever earn. To be honest, doing beam, which I didn’t expect to do, meant the world to me to be back out there. I wasn’t expecting to win the medal, either. I was just going out there to do it for me.”
It was Biles’ eighth Olympic medal, tying her for the most by an American in gymnastics with Shannon Miller. After receiving the gold, Biles exchanged a few words with IOC President Thomas Bach before wiping away tears.
“We’re not simply entertainers; we’re people,” she said. “On top of sports, there are things going on behind the scenes that we’re also attempting to manage.”
Biles, 24, did a somewhat different and less challenging routine than in qualifying, but she was consistent throughout and just required a tiny jump on her double pike dismount. At the end, she blew kisses to the audience.
She scored a 14.000, placing third behind China’s Chenchen Guan (14.633) and Xijing Tang (14.233).
Biles, the incumbent Olympic winner in the all-around, vault, and floor, as well as a 15-time solo world champion, was widely predicted to win several gold medals heading into the Games. She qualified for all of the individual events last week, including first place in the all-around.
She had pulled out of the team final on July 27 after the first event on vault, citing “a little bit of the twisties” and a lack of confidence in her abilities to compete.
Biles subsequently withdrew from the all-around competition as well as the finals of the other three events. Biles described her “head and body are just not in sync” in a series of Instagram postings on Friday, saying she was still experiencing the phenomena in which gymnasts feel disoriented in the air, and that her “mind and body are simply not in sync.”
She stated Tuesday, “I was OK with skipping finals since I knew I couldn’t do it.” “I couldn’t figure out why my body and mind weren’t in harmony, and that was the issue I couldn’t solve.” So, what exactly happened? Was it possible that I was exhausted? Where did the cables not connect, for example?
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“And it was particularly difficult since I had spent my whole life training. Physically, I was prepared. I was in good shape. And then something occurs that is completely beyond my control.”
Biles’ status for Tuesday’s beam final remained unknown until Monday, when USA Gymnastics confirmed she will be participating in the last women’s artistic gymnastics event of the Games, with colleague Sunisa Lee.
Over the last week, Biles has been seen and heard cheering on her colleagues at every event, and they have praised her leadership and grace in the face of adversity.
MyKayla Skinner, who won silver in the vault final in lieu of Biles, stated, “It’s really amazing to see her love and support and her cheering us on.” “I knew she’d be the loudest one in there [on Sunday] because she’s always saying, ‘I want you to make the podium, I want you to medal.’ And in the past several days, she’s been just fantastic. And, given all she’s been through, it’s inspiring to see how resilient she is.
“So simply to see how well she’s handled everything, including all of the derogatory remarks and how people are reacting to her. She’s a tough cookie who has influenced me in a variety of ways.”
On Tuesday, Skinner and his teammates returned the favor by yelling loudly for Biles (and Lee) during the game. Lee, who won the all-around championship and a bronze medal on bars, came in sixth on the balance beam.
Aside from a headlining tour throughout the United States, Biles has not announced her future intentions in the sport after these Games, which include the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“Paris is certainly not in my mental set,” she said, “since I believe there are so many things I need to focus on for myself first.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Did Simone Biles win on beam?
Yes, Simone Biles won on beam.
Who medaled in balance beam?
The gymnast who medaled in the balance beam was named Simone Biles.
What time is Simone Biles competing on beam?
Simone Biles will be competing on beam at 11:30 PM ET.
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