Simone Biles, the 19-year-old gymnast, was seconds away from capturing her fourth gold medal at the Rio Olympics on Monday. However, a tiny mistake in her routine cost her.
Biles, who previously won gold in the Team, All-Round and Vault categories, was expected to dominate the balance beam round, too, and finish the games as an all-time great.
Unfortunately for Biles, a mistake on a somersault cost her a shot at winning a record five gold medals at the Games which was a possibility with the remaining floor event.
According to USA Today, “Biles was attempting a front tuck about halfway through her routine when her left foot landed on the edge of the beam. She wobbled and grabbed onto the beam to regain her balance.”
Despite the unexpected mishap, BIles’ teammates and coaches embraced the teenager after Monday’s event. “Simone is also a human being just like all of us. We try to say that she is a super human, but actually I think probably a little bit the pressure get to her or just mentally under the situation that you permanently have to focus and permanently have to be extremely sharp.
“Your brain maybe for a moment, it just gets tired,” said Martha Karolyi, the national team coordinator.
Simone Biles admits mistake
Biles, herself, wants to forget about the missed opportunity. “The rest of the routine (in the balance beam round) was still pretty good. So I can’t be too disappointed in myself.”
On Tuesday, Biles would compete in the floor event, the final gymnastics event, and has the opportunity to join Ecaterina Szabo (1984), Vera Caslavska (1968) and Larisa Latynina (1956) as a four-time gold medalist. No gymnast has even won five gold medals at an Olympic Games.
Biles realizes what’s at stake but doesn’t want to the expectations to weigh her down. “It’s something that you guys (the media) shove into my head, and at 19, I can’t put that much stress on myself because I am only 19. I think you guys want it more than I do because I just want to perform the routines that I practice.”
Simone Biles posted a score of 14.733 in the balance beam round while Netherlands’ Sanne Wevers won gold with a score of 15.466. Biles’ teammate, Laurie Hernandez, won silver with a score of 15.333.