Simone Biles Overcomes Mental Health Issues To Win Bronze on Balance Beam at Tokyo Olympics


(Photo : Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) TOKYO, JAPAN – Simone Biles of Team United States poses with the bronze medal following the Women’s Balance Beam Final on day 11 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Simone Biles ended her Tokyo Olympics campaign on a high note, winning the bronze medal on the balance beam on Tuesday. All eyes were on Biles as she made her much-anticipated return to the competition floor on the final day of artistic gymnastics here in Tokyo. And she did not disappoint, capturing the medal that made her the most accomplished American gymnast in the history of the Olympics.

Biles posted a score of 14.000 on the balance beam to finish behind Chinese gymnasts Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing, who recorded scores of 14.633 and 14.233, respectively. Biles’ score was enough, however, to beat five other gymnasts for the bronze.

Biles did not expect a bronze medal win

Biles told reporters afterward that she did not expect to medal in the balance beam and that she just wanted one more opportunity to compete at the Olympics. Biles exceeded her expectations, though, as she won her second consecutive bronze medal in this event.

According to her Olympic page, Biles now is the most decorated American gymnast of all time, with the 24-year-old winning a total of 25 medals in the world championships and now seven more at the Summer Games. It ties her with Shannon Miller for the most Olympics medals won by an American gymnast.

Biles’ medal collection is more impressive, though, compared to Miller’s, with the 24-year-old having four golds, one silver, and two bronzes in her glittering Olympics career. It’s incredible to think that Biles even managed to equal Miller’s record given the turbulent week she endured here at the Tokyo Olympics.

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Biles’ tough road to balance beam bronze

Biles arrived in Tokyo as one of the main gold medal hopefuls for Team USA, but things went awry when she encountered mental health issues in the team final. Biles had to withdraw after a shaky performance in her opening rotation on the vault. She watched her teammates battle through in the final to take an unlikely silver behind Russian Olympic Committee.

Before her withdrawal from the team final, Biles qualified for five individual event finals, but she proceeded to take herself out in four of those. Biles withdrew from the finals of the all-around, vault, floor exercise, and uneven bars due to the “twisties,” a term gymnasts use to describe mental blocks that they experience in their routines that prevent them from executing complex twisting skills.

Biles surprised everyone when USA Gymnastics announced that she would compete in the balance beam event one final time in the Tokyo Olympics. Unlike the other individual events that Biles exited, the beam features minimal twisting, which helped the multi-Olympic champion in this case.

Biles downgraded her dismount from a double-twisting double tuck to a double pike for her performance on Tuesday. Judges were still impressed with Biles’ routine as she finished her stint in Tokyo with a stunning bronze medal win.


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