Simone Biles Goes for Gold in Balance Beam on Final Day of Gymnastics at Tokyo Olympics


Simone Biles is back! The four-time Olympic gold medalist will make her much-anticipated return to the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympics gymnastics competition on Tuesday via the balance beam final. USA Gymnastics announced on Monday on Twitter, saying Biles and all-around champion Suni Lee will represent Team USA in the beam final. 

The short message was music to the ears of Team USA fans who thought Biles’ campaign in Tokyo was already over. She had arrived at this year’s Olympics as one of Team USA’s main gold medal hopefuls, with some fans even predicting that she will surpass her haul of four gold medals in the 2016 Rio Games.

Biles suffered from twisties in Tokyo

However, Biles encountered mental health issues during her opening vault in the women’s team final, forcing the 24-year-old to withdraw. Biles said that she would re-evaluate herself day by day and see if she can participate in the individual final events that she qualified in. Just like in the team event, Biles proceeded to withdraw from the finals in the individual all-around, vault, uneven bars, and floor exercise.

As the withdrawals piled up during the week, Biles shed some light on the mental struggles she is experiencing in Tokyo right now. She explained on her Instagram post that she is currently suffering from the twisties, a term used by gymnasts about a mental block that affects the execution of the difficult skills in their routines.

Biles said that her twisties now are more severe, as her mental blocks now affect her twisting skills, which she needs in all of her events. According to Biles, only the vault and floor routines were affected by her mental blocks before.

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Biles gunning for gold in the balance beam

The good news for Biles is that she normally attempts fewer twists on the balance beam, which is the event she will be competing in on Tuesday. That may be the reason why Biles opted to make her return in this event. The only twisting skill that Biles needs to do in the beam final is her full-twisting double back dismount, a highly difficult move that she could also downgrade to a less difficult dismount if the twisties still bother her.

Biles has been a vocal cheerleader for her teammates, who have stepped up big time in her absence in the individual events. Lee won gold in the all-around event while MyKayla Skinner captured silver on the women’s vault. Just yesterday, Jade Carey took home the gold in the floor exercise.

Even without Biles, American gymnasts have won a total of five medals here at the Tokyo Olympics. Biles and Lee will look to add to that tally later today in the beam final.


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