After missing the finals in vault, uneven bars and floor exercises, as well as the all-around, Biles returned to competition on Tuesday – the last day of artistic gymnastics events. She was greeted with a huge standing ovation from her teammates and hundreds of people at the Ariake Gymnastics Center and finished third in the event.
“It wasn’t easy to pull out of all of these competitions,” Biles said. “People just thought it was easy, but physically and mentally I wasn’t in the right headspace and didn’t want to put my health and safety at risk because at the end of the day, it didn’t. not worth it.
“My mental and physical health is above any medals I could win. So to be clear doing beam, which I didn’t think I was going to be, just meant the world was back. And I was I didn’t expect to come away with the medal. I was just going to do this for myself. ”
It was the seventh career Olympic medal for Biles, who tied the most with Shannon Miller by an American in gymnastics.
Biles, 24, exhibited a slightly modified and less challenging routine than what she performed in qualifying, but was solid throughout and only needed a small jump on her double pike exit. . She blew kisses to the crowd at her conclusion.
She received a 14,000, finishing behind Chenchen Guan (14.633) and Xijing Tang (14.233), both Chinese.
The reigning Olympic title holder in all-around, as well as vault and floor, and a 15-time individual world champion, Biles was widely expected to win several gold medals ahead of the Games. She qualified for all individual events, including first place in the all-around, last week.
She withdrew from the team final last Tuesday, following the first vault event, and said she had experienced “a bit of twists” and no longer trusted her ability. to compete.
Biles then withdrew from the all-around, along with the other three event finals. On Friday, in a series of posts to her Instagram account, Biles explained that she is still experiencing the phenomenon, in which gymnasts feel like they are lost in the air, and said that her “mind and body are not just not in sync ”.
“I was okay with the missing finals because I knew I couldn’t do it,” she said on Tuesday. “My problem was why my body and my mind weren’t in sync, and that’s what I couldn’t figure out. Like what happened? Was I tired?
“And it was really hard because it’s like I’ve been training my whole life. I was physically ready. I was fine. And then it happens and it’s something that was so beyond my control. “
Biles’ status for Tuesday’s beam final remained uncertain until Monday, when USA Gymnastics announced that she would compete alongside teammate Sunisa Lee in the final women’s artistic gymnastics event of the Games.
Biles has been seen and heard cheering on her teammates at every event over the past week, and they have praised her leadership and grace despite the circumstances.
“It’s really cool to see his love and support and cheer us on,” said MyKayla Skinner, who replaced Biles in the vault final. “And I knew she was going to be the loudest in there [on Sunday] because she says, ‘I want you to get on the podium, I want you to win a medal.’ And she’s been so awesome the last few days. And after everything she’s been through, it’s really cool to see how strong she is.
“So just to see how well she handled all and all of the horrible comments and how people respond to her. It’s definitely a strong cookie and she definitely inspired me in so many ways. “
Skinner and their other teammates were heard returning the favor loudly on Tuesday and shouted loudly for Biles (and Lee) throughout. Lee, who won the all-around title as well as a bronze medal on bars, was fifth on beam.
Biles has not confirmed his future plans in the sport after these Games, including the 2024 Paris Olympics, other than a headlining tour across the United States.
“Paris is definitely not in my state of mind because I think there is so much that I have to work on for myself first,” she said.