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The GOAT always finishes strong.
After bowing out of the gymnastics team final and missing much of her events of the 2021 Olympics, American star Simone Biles won bronze on the balance beam Tuesday in her last chance to win a medal in Tokyo. The 24-year-old was solid aside from one minor shaky moment, earning a 14.0 score that placed her in third behind China’s Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing, respectively.
Biles was returning to the competition after pulling out of the all-around team event due to struggles with her mental health and a case of the “twisties,” a common issue gymnasts face that Biles described as not being able to “tell up from down.”
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The heavily favored USA team had finished the qualifying round on July 25 trailing the Russian Olympic Committee, but Biles was still at the top of the individual standings with berths for each event final in balance beam, floor exercise, uneven bars and vault. Biles – as well as a few of her U.S. teammates – had made uncharacteristic mistakes in her first routines, stepping out of bounds, off the mat entirely in the floor exercise and staggering backward on her dismount from the balance beam.
Biles began competition in the all-around final but pulled out after losing her orientation mid-air in the vault, leading to a wild stumble.