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After Days in the Stands, Biles Makes the 'Impossible Possible'

Gymnast wins a bronze medal, after she'd earlier pulled out of team competition, 4 individual events
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2021 6:21 AM CDT
Biles Ends Tokyo Run With a Bronze
Simone Biles poses with her bronze medal for the artistic gymnastics women's balance beam apparatus at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Tuesday in Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(Newser) – It's been a difficult week for Simone Biles, who pulled out of multiple events at the Summer Olympics to deal with mental health issues after a bout with the "twisties." But the determined gymnast made it back onto the competition floor Tuesday in Tokyo, walking away with a score of 14.0 on beam and a bronze medal—the seventh Olympic medal of her career, per USA Today. Guan Chenchen of China, the youngest competitor at 16, won the event's gold with a score of 14.633, while teammate Tang Xijing, 18, took home the silver with a 14.233. Biles, the reigning world champ on beam, also took home a bronze in the event during the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, which she'd been widely expected to win.

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The New York Times notes that cameras were intensely trained on Biles even during her two-hour-plus warmup, which was a mix of solid run-throughs and a few shaky ones. In the competition itself, Biles didn't take any chances and skipped her usual double-twisting double backflip dismount. By finishing up her run in Tokyo this way after such a tumultuous week, NBC commentators proclaimed Biles had "made the impossible possible," per Today. Although her 14.0 score was below what she'd originally been expected to earn, Biles' main goal in hopping onto the beam was "to see if she could shoo away the demons for long enough—just for that minute and a half—so her Olympics would end on a positive note," notes the Times. "And it did." Biles' bronze medal will join the silver one she earned during the Tokyo Games for being part of the team final. (Read more Simone Biles stories.)

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