- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
In her final opportunity to make her mark at the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles put aside the pressure and the world’s attention to secure a bronze medal in the women’s balance beam event final Tuesday.
In what has undoubtedly become the biggest story of these Games, Biles matched the bronze medal she won in the event at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Her return to the gymnastics arena and the balance beam final was the dramatic finale of the 24-year-old’s Olympic campaign that Hollywood couldn’t have scripted any better, after she withdrew from the women’s team final last Tuesday, citing concerns for her mental health and physical safety.
Biles finished behind Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing of China. American gymnast Sunisa Lee, who has already won a gold, silver and bronze medal at these Games, finished in fourth.
There was drama just minutes before the balance beam event final began, as Romania’s Larisa Iordache withdrew with an ankle injury, with first reserve Urara Ashikawa of Japan taking her place.
Speaking later, Biles said, “I didn’t expect a medal today, I just wanted to go out there for me and that’s what I did.”
Already the most decorated American gymnast, Biles’ career tally of Olympic medals now stands at seven (four gold, one silver, two bronze) won over two Games. It is not yet clear if this is the last we’ll see of her competing at Olympic events.
Biles, gymnastics’ biggest star and an overwhelming favorite going into this Games, had earlier withdrawn from the women’s all-around and the event finals for vault, uneven bars and floor exercise in what was becoming a torturous Olympics until Tuesday’s performance.
In the last week, she has talked about suffering from the “twisties,” which sees athletes suddenly and inexplicably unable to complete spins, sometimes required for a maneuver.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day