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Women in Sport

03rd Aug 2021

Emotional scenes at the Ariake Arena as Simone Biles makes a bronze medal winning return

Kieran Galpin

Biles is back in business.

Simone Biles, who hit headlines last week following her withdrawal from the competition, has won Bronze at the balance beams event of the Tokyo 2020 games.

16-year-old Guan Chenchen of China was the eighth and final gymnast to compete but with a difficulty of 6.600 and execution of 8.033, Chenchen’s total score of 14.633 was enough to win the competition. This means Tang Xijing takes the silver medal, which pushed Biles, and her score of 14.000, down to the bronze position.

It may not have been the gold this champion is accustomed to, but as the Ariake Arena erupted to her appearance and then to her every move, it sure felt like one.

Biles dominated the news cycle last week after she withdrew from her second event to focus on her mental health. The move was applauded by the masses but was criticised by the devil’s advocates.

“What exactly is so courageous, heroic or inspiring about quitting on your team and country in an Olympics?”  wrote Piers Morgan in his Daily Mail column.

“Well sorry if it offends all the howling Twitter snowflake virtue-signallers, but I don’t think it’s remotely courageous, heroic or inspiring to quit.

“Get back out there Simone, and don’t get sucked into all the weak woke failure-loving Twitter nonsense – you’re too great a champion to be labelled a quitter.”

Simone Biles’ is widely considered one of the greatest gymnasts in the world, so much so the term GOAT (Greatest of all time) has been literally branded to Biles. With her seventh Olympic medal, Biles is tied with Shannon Miller as the most decorated US Olympian of all time.


Simone Biles