Simone Biles Competes in Final Olympic Event, Takes Home Bronze for Beam
Simone Biles took home a bronze medal for beam on Tuesday during the last day of events for artistic gymnastics.
The 24-year-old returned to the beam after withdrawing from the finals for vault, uneven bars, and floor as well as the all-around due to mental health concerns. It had been unclear if Biles would be taking part in Tuesday's beam final until Monday.
"Once I came out here [to compete], I was like, 'No, mental is not there, so I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself,'" Biles said to reporters last week of her decision to withdraw.
She also shared with fans that she'd been dealing with a phenomenon called "the twisties," which causes athletes to seemingly get lost in the air and can cause serious injuries.
Alongside coach Cecile Canqueteau-Landi, Biles adjusted her beam routine ahead of Tuesday's performance and switched "out a dismount that required her to twist for one with two simpler backflips instead, a skill she hadn’t done in competition in 12 years," according to the Associated Press.
The outlet notes that "even with the degree of difficulty lowered," Biles "earned a 14.000, good enough for third behind Chinese teammates Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing."
"So to be clear, to do beam, which I didn't think I was going to be, just meant the world to be back out there. And I wasn't expecting to walk away with the medal. I was just going out there doing this for me," she shared.
Biles also reportedly said she was "proud of myself just to go out there" and said that she'd treasure this medal "a lot more after everything I have been through."
Of her bronze medal win, her seventh career Olympic medal, ESPN reports that she said: "It wasn't easy pulling out of all those competitions. People just thought it was easy, but I physically and mentally was not in the right head space, and I didn't want to jeopardize my health and my safety because at the end of the day, it's not worth it.
She went on to say that her "mental and physical health is above all medals that I could ever win."