Simone Biles is widely considered the greatest gymnast of all time, she has won a total of 32 Olympic and World Championship medals to date.
Seven of the athlete's medals were won at the Olympics, including four gold medals, one silver medal, and two bronze medals. At Rio 2016, Biles picked up golds for the team, all-around, vault and floor events, plus a bronze medal for the beam event.
In Tokyo 2020 she won silver in the team event, and, on Tuesday – returning to the games after a break – she won bronze with a stunning routine in the beam event, narrowly missing out on silver or gold by fractions of a point. China's Tang Xijing and Guan Chenchen won silver and gold, respectively.
Biles, 24, hit the headlines at Tokyo 2020 after dropping out of the women’s team final and four of her individual finals to prioritise her mental health.
Biles withdrew after a medical evaluation. “We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritising her wellbeing. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many,” Team USA said in a statement.
The gymnast explained during a press conference that she “put mental health first because if you don’t then you’re not going to enjoy your sport and you’re not going to succeed as much as you want to.
“So it’s OK sometimes to even sit out the big competitions to focus on yourself because it shows how strong of a competitor and person that you really are, rather than just battle through it.”
The gymnast has been widely praised for highlighting the mental strain athletes can endure during competition, and for setting boundaries for her own mental health.
"So awesome to see you back up there!" tweeted fellow athlete, American Olympic champion swimmer Simone Manuel, following her medal-winning beam routine. "You have so much to be proud of! Your resilience is so inspiring!"
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