After returning to the Tokyo Olympics following her mental health withdrawal from most of the competitions she qualified for (the team final once she completed the jump, the final of the all-around and the other three finals per event), Simone Biles returned striding to the beam final on August 3, finishing third. This seventh medal out of two Games equals Shannon Miller’s record for most Olympic medals in American artistic gymnastics. China’s Guan Chenchen, who qualified in first place and is capable of the world’s highest beam difficulty, received gold with a 14.633. Tang Xijing, also of China, won silver with a score of 14.233.
NBC analyst and 2008 Olympian Bridget Sloan said on the live show that Biles looked confident in her skills, controlled and calm. Gymnasts do not have a 30 second “one touch” warm-up during the event finals, so this is important. All-around champion and teammate Suni Lee joined Biles for the balance beam final, qualifying in third place and finishing in fifth place after a strong routine with major balance control in the middle of her run of flights of side antennas connected to two rear outputs. She always comes home with gold (all around), silver (team) and bronze (on bars).
Biles and Lee faced off in the competition, and Biles, who won bronze in the event at the Rio 2016 Games, put in a solid performance with just one minor error visible that a spectator’s eye could identify. . She received a 14,000, and she changed her beam output from a double backflip to double twist or from a full twist double back to a double pike, lowering her starting value. The original outing was the only real twisting skill in his routine.
Biles said she was experiencing a case of what gymnasts call “twisties,” a disorienting and dangerous mental block where you lose all mind-body connection that has long been second nature. His appearance started after the preliminaries and impacted his jump in the first rotation of the team final.
Biles’ comeback isn’t just about fighting for – and claiming – a medal. It’s about coming back to a sport that has given it so much success and heartbreak after a mental struggle that most of us fail to comprehend. And the smile, the pure joy, on his face said it all.
Great athletes win medals. True champions are brave enough to recognize (even accept) difficulties and then, in the face of adversity, show up to support their teammates and remain vulnerable while the whole world watches them. Biles came out and played, and she leaves Tokyo with team silver and bronze on beam, as well as a new sense of self. “[T]he outpouring of love and support I received made me realize that I am more than my accomplishments and my gymnastics that I had never really believed in before, ”Biles wrote on Twitter a day after the team final.
“I wasn’t expecting a medal,” Biles said after the competition, according to The New York Times. “To have one more opportunity to be at the Olympics meant the world to me.”
Coming up, check out photos from Biles’ warm-up and beam routine on August 3. It is not known where she is in her gymnastic career – she has noted in the past that she is not ruling out the Paris Games in three years – but she is ending it. second Olympics on a positive note and inspiring people along the way. Biles has added to a larger conversation about mental health at a time when viewers may not be focusing on it and, instead, are obsessed with performing without excuse despite the risk, for the material. We applaud her for the remarkable GOAT she is.