There are three things that are givens in these Olympics – Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky is make splashes in the pool, Usain Bolt is untouchable on the track, and Simone Biles is unflappable on the floor mat. Each individual has received more than their fair share of (justified) coverage here in the US and the world alike, and despite the risk of viewer exhaustion, the coverage just seems to keep on coming.
The irrefutable belle of the Rio ball, Simone Biles managed to tie the US record for most individual gold medals at a single Olympic Games – 4. When you consider Biles’ age – 19 – such a feat appears astonishing, but Biles has been the undisputed best gymnast in the world for three years now (3x World Champion), and is already widely considered to be one of, if not the best of all time.
Day 10 of competition saw Biles slip up on the balance beam, ultimately vanquishing her hopes of attaining 5-golds in one Games by ending up with bronze. A natural competitor (I figure calling any Olympian “a natural competitor” is the equivalent to calling any fish “a natural swimmer,” but I digress…), Biles returned to the gymnastics arena for one final go for gold, this time in the individual floor routine exercise. Biles returned to effortless form as she managed to tally a final score of 15.966 on the floor routine, sneaking in a move that was coined after her – aptly titled “The Biles.” Biles’ Team USA teammate Aly Raisman claimed silver with a near perfect initial routine, but slipping up a little bit in her second go.
In the end, Biles will go down as the greatest American gymnast of all time, based on her body of work both inside and outside of the Olympic Games, along with stealing the hearts of many an American, and undoubtedly inspiring the next generation of gymnasts to one day attempt beating Biles’ own impressive dominance. That being said, where will Biles stand amongst the titans of the Olympics? The Michael Phelps, the Usain Bolts, and Jesse Owens of the world? She’ll be right near the top, a giant amongst Titans.