Biles, 24, stood on Tuesday with a bronze medal around her neck, and tears in her eyes. But she may have gotten something more valuable than that: a piece back of her self.
From the "twisties" that have haunted her for a week. The endless speculation about her mental state. The endless speculation about her mental state.
It was all too much. One week ago, her internal wires were crossed when she hopped onto uneven bars during practice. She couldn't even spin. She couldn't move. She doesn't know why. She admits that the wires are still not reconnected. She isn't sure when.
Biles stated that "it was something that was so beyond my control." "But the outcome that I had, at the end of the day my mental and physical well-being is better than any medal. "I couldn't be mad."
Coach Cecile Landi and Biles changed her routine to reduce her anxiety. Instead of a dismount that required her twist for one, she did two simple backflips. This was a skill she hadn’t used in competition for 12 years. Despite the difficulty being reduced, she still earned a 14.000 which was good enough to place third behind Chinese teammates Guanchenchen and Tang Xijing.
After chatting with Thomas Bach, the IOC President, she wiped her tears away after accepting her seventh Olympic gold, which was tied with Shannon Miller as the most American gymnasts have ever received. After a difficult eight days, she felt a sense of relief after feeling so relieved.
Biles stated that "we're not just entertainment. We're also humans." "And there are other things that go on behind the scenes, which we also have to manage with, on top of all the sports."
Biles believed she was in control. In qualifying, the Americans came in second place to the Russian team. She felt the weight of the entire world on her shoulders. The weight was too much during the first vault rotation of the team final. Shaken was forced to withdraw from the team final vault rotation and watched her teammates win silver.
This decision was a turning point for her. There was plenty of support. When she was greeted by a constant stream of people on her way through the Olympic Village, she felt "embarrassed". She also encountered a lot hate. This is why she deleted her Twitter app from her phone and hoped to reduce the temptation to search for her mentions.
She said, "It's just not right for me right now."
She was wearing a red, blue and white leotard that had nearly 5,000 crystals on it. There was no phone around. It didn't seem like she was nervous. After warming up, she sat down next to Sunisa Lee, her teammate and all-around champion. She was able to view highlights from other sports on a large screen.
It is far too early to think about Paris.
She said, "I just need time to process this Olympics first."
Although she hasn’t announced her retirement, she hinted that she may want to stay around until the 2024 Games to honour coaches Laurent Landi and Cecile Landi. This would be a long wait. She will be the face of a post-Olympic tour that runs through the autumn. Biles isn't sure what happens next.
She was the heavy favorite to win four golds two weeks ago. Perhaps five. Her body wasn't able to perform the tasks she had long trained it. Even Monday was hard for her to watch others spinning their way through their routines.
Tuesday night was a sort of justice. She was shocked when, five years ago, her bronze on beam was received in Rio de Janeiro. This was a sign of the double standard to which she is held. In Japan, she won another one under circumstances that no one could have imagined.
She said, "This one is definitely more delicious."
Even if it is the last.
Biles's disappearance into the background allowed teammates to enter the fray, who have been competing in her shadow for many years. Lee, 18, placed fifth on the balance beam and won the Olympic all around title. She won three medals in Tokyo: silver in the team final, bronze on uneven bars and silver in Tokyo.
Lee became the fifth straight American woman to capture the all-around title. MyKayla Skinner, placed into the vault final after Biles scratched, soared to silver. On Monday, Jade Carey's long journey to the Olympics ended with a victory on floor exercise after Biles gave her a pep talk following a nightmarish vault performance in which she tripped at the end of the runway and narrowly avoided serious injury.
Biles didn't expect to be in that role when she first arrived. But she did it anyway and thanked those who had spent eight years helping her. When asked if she had any suggestions for improving her Japan experience, she shrugged.
She said, "Nothing." "I would change absolutely nothing."