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Simone Biles: The Most Decorated Gymnast in History Among Men and Women

Updated on October 14, 2019
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Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes about various topics including celebrities and entertainment.

Gymnast Simone Biles won her 21st gold medal at the World Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany on Tuesday, October 8, 2019. That win made her the most decorated female gymnast in the history of the sport. Biles scored the highest individual points in the vault, balance beam, and floor exercise. During her floor routine, Biles also successfully completed a triple-double that included a double backflip with three twists. That routine was so uniqu3 that it has been named the "Biles II."

The 22-year-old American gymnast beat out Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo with his 23 medals. He had held the all-time record for male or female gymnasts since 1996. Biles won two gold medals on the last day of competition bringing her over all total to 25 medals.

Bile's win helped the US women's gymnastics team to reach its second-straight all-around title victory and its fifth consecutive world championship beating out Russia who won second place and Italy who won third place. The US team win made it America’s seventh consecutive team title at a world championship or Olympics.


Biles' Reaction

Biles told the Associated Press, “I feel like I never think of records. I just go out there and do what I came to do, which is compete for the country.”

Simon will compete for the championship's individual all-around final on Thursday, October 10. She says if she is able to replicate her performance, then she would be more than happy.

Simone Biles' Signature Moves

Of the 21 medals the Texan gymnast has, 15 of her world medals are gold. That number is a record.

The talented gymnast now has four signature moves named after her because they were performed successfully at either world championships or the Olympics.

Name of Move
Description of Performance
The Biles
half-on entry, laid out salto forwards with two twists
2018 World Championship
Balance Beam
Dismount: Double-twisting (2/1) double tucked salto backwards
2019 World Championships
Floor Exercises
Double laid out salto backwards with ½ twist
2013 World Championship
Biles II
Floor Exercises
riple-twisting (3/1) double tucked salto backwards
2019 World Championships

Information obtained from Wikipedia.

The gymnast has four moves named after her. Two of them are for floor exercises, one for the vault and one for the balance beam. Notice that two of Biles' signature moves were recently added during her 2019 performances in the world championship in Germany.

The International Gymnastics Committee lowered the value of Biles' double-double on the balance beam because they are trying to discourage others from attempting it.

Biles Does It Better

A few men have attempted to perform the triple-twisting double somersault, but Biles has a near-perfect technique when she does it as part of her floor exercise. Men usually land with their chests forward or their knees bent so they can control their landings. However, Biles does it so much better. She lands perfectly upright with her feet flat on the floor.

Biles' Future As a Gymnast

Biles was part of the Final Five team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Her teammates were Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Aly Raisman and Madison Kocian. Now four years later, she says she definitely anticipates competing in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. However, she is considering that to be her last Olympics.

Even though Simone is only 22, she has been training as a gymnast since she was just eight years old. She told BBC Sport, "I am in pain most of the time. I feel like my body’s gone through a lot and it’s kind of just falling apart.”

What Experts Are Saying

Nastia Liukin, the 2008 Olympic all-around champion who is now a commentator for NBC said, “She’s revolutionizing the sport in a way I think no one will ever be able to do or has done.” Liukin added, “I don’t think that anybody will ever top that.”

According to Svetlana Boginskaya, the 1989 world champion who now coaches in Biles’ hometown of Houston, said “She’s really absolutely out of this world to me. It’s alien gymnastics. It’s inhuman gymnastics.”

Liang Chow, who coached Shawn Johnson and Gabby Douglas complimented the gymnast when she won the all-around gold at the London Olympics. He said, "She is absolutely the best I have ever seen."


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