In her much-anticipated return to the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles overcame a scary case of “the twisties” in order to win a bronze medal in the women’s balance beam competition.
From Yahoo Sports:
Biles delivered a steady, strong routine and while she was, no doubt, trying to win gold, this was as much about competing, and overcoming, than anything else. That a medal came in the end was an added bonus.
China’s 16-year-old sensation Guan Chenchen (14.633) won gold and teammate Tang Xijing Tag (14.233) took silver. They were the two highest qualifiers and thus the favorites to win the event.
Huffington Post notes that during her routine, she appeared confident, but suffered from some “minor flaws” before concluding with “a resounding double-pike dismount.” By earning what is widely considered to be her final career medal, the 24-year-old tied the record for the most Olympic medals won by a U.S. gymnast.
“I was just happy to be able to perform regardless of the outcome,” Biles said. “I did it for me and I was happy to be able to compete one more time. […] Training for five years and coming here and kind of being triggered and not being able to do anything wasn’t fun.”
Prior to competing on the balance beam, the four-time Olympic gold medalist withdrew from five Olympic events, citing mental health concerns. And while this wasn’t the fairytale ending that she had hoped for, she received an outpouring of love and support after demonstrating her championship pedigree on the world’s biggest stage.
“I had nerves but I felt pretty good,” she said of her performance on Tuesday. “Put your health and safety first above all things.”