US gymnast and four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles consoled her visibly disappointed teammate Jordan Chiles on Sunday, in one of the most touching moments of Tokyo Olympics so far, after Chiles fell off the balance beam and stumbled on her dismount.
Chiles, 20, struggled throughout her performance at the women’s gymnastics qualification in Tokyo and committed major errors. She ultimately winded up with her hands and knees on the mat at the end of her balance beam routine that ended with her disappointing fall.
After the performance, Chiles was visibly upset and crouched on a chair next to Cecile Canqueteau-Landi, her coach from the World Champions Centre where she trained.
Even though Biles had her own routine to focus on, she approached Chiles and crouched alongside her, appearing to comfort her younger teammate.
Biles, the first woman athlete and the first Olympian to get her own Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) emoji on Twitter, patted Chiles’s knee before her own routine on the beam.
Chiles finished with a disappointing 53.698 score from the judges, making it to the 40th place overall, while Biles received the highest score of 57.731, qualifying despite an apparent error on her landing.
The Russian team earned the top score on Sunday, recording 171.629, a 1.067 advantage over the US, which scored 170.562.
The two will now compete side by side in an all-round final on Tuesday, even as Chiles’s individual run at the Olympics is over.
Chiles was the third-ranked all-rounder at the Olympic trials, behind only Biles and Sunisa Lee. Her performance was consistent during four major domestic competitions this year with no major error.
The two gymnasts’ friendship goes back to 2018 when Chiles had almost quit sports. Biles had advised her to relocate to Texas to train with her. The two subsequently trained at the state’s World Champions Centre after which Chiles qualified for Tokyo.
"Having [Simone] by my side 24/7 and giving me encouraging words every day definitely helped, and it was very motivational," Chiles previously said on The Today Show after qualifying for Tokyo.
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