Watch Simone Biles' Balance Beam Routine That Netted Her A Bronze Medal
Had Simone Biles come in first on the balance beam at the 2016 Rio games, she could have set a new Olympic record by becoming the first female gymnast to win five gold medals at a single Olympics. Instead, the 19-year-old American took home the bronze, thus proving to all of us that she is indeed human after all. You can watch Biles' balance beam routine below.
Laurie Hernandez, also of Team USA, won silver on the beam. The gold medal went to Sanne Wevers of the Netherlands.
Biles is a gifted gymnast and has several world records under her belt. Even before the Rio games started, she had won 14 world championship medals, more than any other American woman. Biles was the first woman to win the all-around world championships three years in a row, and the first female gymnast in over 40 years to take home four consecutive all-around titles from the U.S. national championships.
Although Biles was too young to qualify for the Olympics in 2012, she's largely dominated the 2016 games, winning gold medals in the vault, team all-around, and individual all-around events. She'll be competing in the floor exercise this Tuesday, and if she wins the gold in that event — which she's expected to do — she'll take home four gold medals from her first Olympics games.
While competing on the beam, Biles lost balance while landing a somersault, and had to grab the beam to stabilize herself. That one mistake was enough to remove her from serious contention for the gold medal, despite the fact that the rest of the routine was solid. Biles' score in the event was 14.733.
"The rest of the routine was still pretty good," Biles said of her routine, according to USA Today, "so I can't be too disappointed in myself."
Despite her misstep on the beam, Biles still has the opportunity to make history again at the Rio games. If she wins gold in the floor routine, she'll tie with four other female gymnasts, each of whom have taken home four golds from a single Olympics: Ecaterina Szabo, Věra Čáslavská, Ágnes Keleti, and Larisa Latynina.
It's also important to point out that even though Biles didn't win five golds at a single Olympics, it's not clear that Biles was quite as dead-set on that goal as many of her supporters.
"It's something that you guys shove into my head, and at 19, I can't put that much stress on myself because I am only 19," Biles told USA Today. "I think you guys want it more than I do because I just want to perform the routines that I practice."
And the fact that she remained confident and proud of her performance, even if it wasn't "perfect" in the judges' eyes, sets an incredible example for other competitors.