Simone Biles’ gold-medal fortitude earned her a bronze medal on Tuesday.
According to Reuters, Biles remarked after her third-place finish in the balancing beam at the Tokyo Olympics, “I felt proud of myself just to step out there after everything I’ve been through.”
Her triumphant return after battling mental health issues and disorientation while performing acrobatics has firmly placed the spotlight on the athlete widely regarded as the best gymnast of all time.
She was unafraid of it. In her more conservative balance beam routine, Biles looked assured and nailed a double-pike dismount. It wasn’t vintage Biles, who won the world championship on the balance beam in 2019, but it was mature Biles who won the world championship on the balance beam in 2019.
According to The Associated Press, she stated, “I had nerves, but I felt fairly well.”
The color of the medal didn’t seem to matter, as Biles, 24, now has seven medals, tying Shannon Miller for the most by an American gymnast. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, one of them won bronze on the balance beam.
“After everything I’ve been through, I’ll treasure this one even more,” she remarked.
Biles abruptly stepped out of the team competition following a wobbly vault a week ago. She spoke openly about her troubles under pressure and withdrew from the overall competition as well as three of the individual events.
But she appeared smiling and ready for what could be a last moment on the Olympic stage.
“This one is definitely sweeter,” she said of the bronze.