Simone Biles Says That Winning Bronze on the Balance Beam ‘Means More Than All the Golds’

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Gymnast Simone Biles says that is was a misconception that she was a “quitter” because she decided not to compete during multiple events at the Tokyo Olympics. She told TODAY’s Hoda Kotb, “It wasn’t an easy decision, so it hurts that people are like, ‘Oh she quit’ … because I’ve worked five years for that. Why would I quit? I’ve been through so much over the past couple years in the sport. I just don’t quit.”

What she did do was decide not to put herself at risk. She explained, “The girls saw me in training, my coaches saw me in training; I physically couldn’t do it safely, and it’s because I was getting so lost in the air. Before team finals, the girls were terrified for me and they’ve never really been scared.”

Each day, Biles met with sports psychologists and had a medical evaluation. Thankfully, she was able to overcome the “twisties” in time to compete in the Olympics one last time.

The 24-year-old won the bronze medal for balance beam. China’s Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing won gold and silver.

Even though Biles won multiple Olympic gold medals in 2016, she says this bronze medal “means more than all the golds because I’ve pushed through so much the last five years and the last week while I’ve even been here.” She added, “I didn’t really care about the outcome. I was just happy that I made the routine and that I got to compete one more time.”

Biles also shared that she is proud of her teammates who are all taking home gold or silver medals. Jade Carey won gold for the individual floor exercise. McKayla Skinner won silver for the vault. Sunisa Lee won gold for the individual all-around and bronze for uneven bars. Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, Biles, Lee and Skinner are all taking home silver for the team competition.
USA Gymnastics tweeted their excitement about Biles bronze on balance beam writing, “What a showcase of perseverance and strength, closing this Olympics campaign with a bronze medal!”