Simone Biles has won the all-around title at the world championships for the fourth time, the most ever in women’s artistic gymnastics.
Biles, 21, uncharacteristically struggled in the competition Thursday in Doha, Qatar, just days after tweeting she’d put off having a kidney stone removed until after the competition.
But despite a fall on the vault, a fall on the balance beam and stepping out of bounds during her floor exercise routine, Biles still won by 1.693 points — the largest margin of victory of her four titles.
Fellow American Morgan Hurd took bronze, while Mai Murakami of Japan won silver.
In addition to the all-around, Biles, who returned to the sport this summer, led the US this week to team gold. She still can add to her medal haul in the individual vault, uneven bars, beam and floor events.
In addition to her five gold medals, Simone Biles is now poised for another super Rio Olympics experience. She’s been chosen as the Team USA flag bearer for closing ceremony on Sunday.
“It’s an incredible honor to be selected as the flag bearer by my Team USA teammates,” Biles said in a statement. “This experience has been the dream of a lifetime for me and my team and I consider it a privilege to represent my country, the United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics by carrying our flag. I also wish to thank the city of Rio de Janeiro, and the entire country of Brazil, for hosting an incredible Games.”
This quite an honor for Miss Biles as she is only the second American gymnast to carry the flag in an opening or closing ceremony after Alfred Jochim in 1936.
Though it was largely expected given her dominance in the sport over the past three years, Biles’ competition here was a resounding success, reports USA Today Sports.
She led the Americans to a second consecutive team gold medal by an eye-popping eight points before winning the all-around title, gold medals on vault and floor exercise and bronze on balance beam.
Her five medals matches marks set by Nastia Liukin in 2008, Shannon Miller in 1992 and Mary Lou Retton in 1984.
Her success here only added to the consensus that she’s the best gymnast of her time and probably the best ever. None other than Bela and Martha Karolyi, Retton and Aimee Boorman, Biles’ longtime coach, think the case is clear.
Biles, 19, entered these Games as the three-time defending world all-around champion. Her 10 gold medals earned over that span is a record for any gymnast, and she has 14 total medals from world championship competition.
article by Victor Mather and Lela Moore via nytimes.com
RIO DE JANEIRO — For anyone who doubted her after a subpar performance on the balance beam, Simone Biles sent an emphatic message on Tuesday: She is unbeatable in the floor exercise.
Biles bounced back from a bronze medal performance on the beam to dominate the floor, completing her Rio Olympics with four gold medals and the bronze. She is the fourth American female gymnast to win five medals in a single Olympics, joining Mary Lou Retton (1984), Shannon Miller (1992) and Nastia Liukin (2008).
Biles scored a 15.966 in the floor, considered her best event.
Her signature floor move is the Biles, a double layout with a half-twist and a blind landing. She performed the move nearly perfectly, adding a stag leap, which she had left out of her performance in the team event but included in the individual all-around.
Her score dwarfed those of her competitors. Her teammate Aly Raisman won the silver medal with a routine slightly less difficult than Biles’s, sticking every landing on every tumbling pass. The bronze medal went to Amy Tinkler, the first female gymnast from Britain to compete in a floor final.
Raisman earned her sixth Olympic medal and her third at these Games. She won the team gold and the silver in the individual all-around, behind Biles, who also won the vault.
Tuesday’s victory put Biles in an exclusive club. Just three female gymnasts before her — Ecaterina Szabo of Romania (1984), Vera Caslavska of Czechoslovakia (1968) and Larisa Latynina of the Soviet Union (1956) — had also won four gold medals in one Olympics.
With two main goals already accomplished – gold medals in both the team competition and in the individual all-around – Simone Biles turned to the vault to grab more Olympic gold Sunday.
Going last in a field of eight gymnasts, Biles needed an average score of more than 15.253 to claim gold. She unleashed a soaring Amanar on her first vault, taking only a small hop backwards as she landed. Score: 15.900.
For her next vault, Biles turned to a Cheng — a difficult vault that, compared to the Amanar, is worth an extra tenth of a point on the judges’ scale — and performed it nearly flawlessly. Her score was the highest of the group: 16.033.
In the final, each athlete performs two vaults; the scores are then averaged. For instance, while Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber started strong with a 15.333, she scored a 14.900 on her second attempt, dropping her final score to 15.216. She held on for a bronze medal behind Maria Paseka of Russia.
As U.S. Gymnastics tells us, with today’s gold medal, Biles sets a U.S. record for the most gymnastics gold medals in one Olympics for a female athlete. She also becomes the first American woman to win gold on the vault.
“The Amanar consists of a round-off onto the springboard, back handspring onto the vault table and then a flip with two and a half twists in the straight body position. It’s the vault that McKayla Maroney made famous at the London Olympics and is worth 6.300 points.”
“The Cheng is worth 6.400 points. It consists of jumping onto the springboard, doing a half twist before pushing off the vault with your hands, then doing a flip with one and a half twists.”
Coming into this competition, Biles, 19, was also expected to face tough challenges from North Korea’s Hong Un Jong – the 2008 gold medalist in this event — as well as Canada’s Shallon Olsen, 16.
You’ve surely heard about it by now, and likely seen it too – U.S. gymnast phenomenon Simone Biles easily captured individual all-around gold at the Rio Olympics Thursday by out-performing the best of the world’s best and fulfilling what many felt was her long-awaited destiny. Teammate Aly Raisman won the silver and Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina took the bronze, repeating her finish in London four years ago. It was the second time the U.S. women went 1-2 in the all-around, having also done so in 2008.
But what I find to be challenging about the major media coverage of Biles beyond the footage of her feats (which I could watch all day every day) is how much it focuses primarily on three things: 1)her “humble beginnings” family story 2)how “girly” she is and 3) how she is preternaturally genetically gifted for the sport she so clearly dominates. If you need to see examples of any or all of this, simply turn on NBC to catch whatever package is running on her as they show the gymnastics competitions (I’ve personally seen the footage of her at the nail salon three separate times), go to nbcolympics.com, read pretty much any major newspaper’s feature on her (many with some tagline about what a “giant” the 4′ 8″ teen is), or heck, just click through the internet.
In addition to hearing about her once-in-a-generation, God-given talent or her twitter crush on Zac Efron, can’t we please hear, see, read and learn more about how Biles’ team crafts her routines to capitalize on her strengths? Or how exactly did she and/or her coaches come up with her signature move for the floor routine – the Biles? (Okay, I just found that one – it’s on inc.com – a business site!).
If I Google and scour a bit, I do find what I want – coverage of Biles’ discipline, work ethic and what kind of discrimination, if any, she faces as a black gymnast in a predominately white sport – like this very strong piece published in deadspin.com. I do believe, however, this should be the standard of mainstream media coverage on a sports superstar of Biles’ caliber, particularly from the official network covering the Olympics she is currently crushing. (Yes, it’s cute to see her dance to “Uptown Funk” with Hoda and reveal her and her teammates’ Kellogg’s cereal box on “The Today Show”, but c’mon Peacock – there is so much more to this athlete!)
Hopefully this weekend during the broadcast of the individual skills events, NBC will step it up – way up – because Biles surely will, and she deserves nothing but the best as she gives us all her best.
Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas will be booking tickets to Rio now that the two have been named to the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team.
The ladies fought hard for their spot on the team and have definitely earned it. Biles is a four-time national champ, reigning three-time world all-around champion, and is regularly referred to as the Michael Jordan of gymnastics.
Gabrielle Douglas & Simone Biles Bring Their Black Girl Magic To The Cover Of ‘Teen Vogue’Douglas made history by becoming the first African-American to become the individual all-around champion at the 2012 Olympics, and she’s the first all-around to make a second Olympic team since 1980.
Still, the ladies aren’t resting. Biles told ESPN, “I think we can all get better. I know I can get better. I’m saving it for Rio.”Congrats on your amazing achievement, Simone and Gabby!
ST. LOUIS — At the end of the United States women’s gymnastics championships here on Sunday night, so many gold medals hung around Simone Biles’s neck that when she walked, they clinked so loudly it made her giggle. A few times, she grabbed her medals to silence them and laughed yet again.
“I always have so much fun,” Biles said later, after she had won her fourth straight national title in the all-around event and gold medals in three of the four individual events. The last time a woman had won a fourth consecutive national title in the all-around was 42 years ago.
“People think you have to be serious to do a good job,” she said. “But I think if you’re having fun, you can do better. You can look back someday and say, wow, I had a good time instead of being so stressed out.”
That’s easier said than done in elite gymnastics, a sport that can be a dangerous endeavor. One slip could break bones or tear ligaments, or possibly something worse. But this happy-go-lucky attitude in a grueling, often solemn sport works for Biles, the three-time defending world champion in the all-around. And it makes perfect sense that it works.
After all, it’s fun to compete when you win and win and when the word around the sport is that you’re the best gymnast ever. Mary Lou Retton, the Olympic gold medalist in the all-around in 1984, has called Biles the top gymnast in history. Nastia Liukin, the Olympic gold medalist in 2008, has said that Biles is a lock for the gold medal at the Rio Games in August and that the real competition is for second place.
During the two-day national championships here, which were a warm-up for next month’s Olympic trials in San Jose, Calif., Martha Karolyi, the women’s national team coordinator, watched Biles’s routines closely — often with eyes opened extra wide.
After several of Biles’s big performances — and nearly all of them were big performances — Karolyi said, “Wow!” It was a substantial reaction from a woman who is the opposite of effusive: She gave two slow claps to Gabrielle Douglas’s floor exercise on Sunday, and Douglas is the reigning Olympic champion in the all-around.
On a day when Gabby Douglas continued to make progress toward a return to the Olympics, two young American gymnasts put in a strong showing as they start a path to trying to make the U.S. team.
Douglas won the all-around Saturday at the City of Jesolo Trophy competition in Jesolo, Italy — her second international win this month, while Ragan Smith and Laurie Hernandez finished second and third, respectively.
Meanwhile, Aly Raisman, another Fierce Fiver trying to make a second Games, struggled to a sixth-place finish.
The Americans took six of the top seven spots in the event, with Douglas scoring 59.650, Smith scoring 59.050 and Hernandez 58.550.
Douglas, the reigning Olympic all-around gold medalist, earned the first win of her comeback earlier this month at the American Cup.
Aside from Douglas and Raisman, the U.S. team for the competition included gymnasts who will be trying for their first Olympic team this year. Smith and Hernandez are both 15 years old. Hernandez finished first and Smith third as juniors at the U.S. championships in August.
Simone Biles, the three-time defending world and U.S. all-around champion, did not compete in Italy and is expected to start her competition season at the Pacific Rim Championships next month.
NEWARK, N.J. – The world championships silver medal should have been enough to erase any doubt in Gabby Douglas’ comeback.
Yes, the reigning Olympic all-around gold medalist is trying to do what has been a sometimes insurmountable task for many talented gymnasts – come back for a second Olympics. And Douglas isn’t coming back for some sort of participation ribbon.
But in case any doubts lingered, she put more to rest on Saturday. Now 20, Douglas wants to achieve more in the Olympics. She set herself on that path by winning the American Cup at the Prudential Center, earning her first trip to the top of the podium since winning the Olympic all-around in London in 2012.
“From the bottom of my heart, I really believe that I can achieve more,” Douglas said. “And it’s just not for the wrong intentions. I’m like, ‘Guys, I’m back. I’m serious.’ I feel like gradually and the more and more I keep proving that, I really hope that people believe it.”
To be sure, part of those doubts are the challenge. Since 1980, only six American women have gone on to compete in a second Olympics. No woman has repeated as gold medalist since Věra Čáslavská in 1968.