Simone Biles went into the Tokyo Olympics saddled with the expectations that come with being one of the best in the world in gymnastics and sports period. After taking a well-deserved mental health break, Biles returned to compete in the balance beams finals and won a bronze medal in the process while also silencing her critics with class.
Much has been made of Biles’ decision to pull herself out of the Team USA finals after she experienced the “twisties,” a physical condition that gymnasts say can affect their performance and cause serious injury. Biles was criticized by sports media and a variety of armchair athletes who can barely pour a cup of coffee properly but she was largely surrounded by love and support from her teammates and beyond.
Perhaps reluctantly, Biles joined Naomi Osaka and other top women athletes at the Games as stars who are actively combating the mental hurdles that face them while also pleasing their fans, supporters, teammates, and representing their countries. Biles has been vocal about the weight of all via social media but that seemingly hasn’t turned into understanding from the masses, partly because she has been so excellent at her craft for so long.
Still, Biles’ journey at the Olympics is notable and she’s proven once again she is among the best in her profession, winning the bronze medal on the balance beam with a score of 14.000. It should also be noted that the win ties Biles with Shannon Miller as the most decorated Olympian in American gymnastics history.
During a post-event presser, Biles spoke directly to her critics and other observers who shamed her for taking time for herself and trying to find balance amidst the pressures of competition. View the video below to see those comments from Biles and keep scrolling to see the reactions from Twitter.