Seven-time Olympic gymnastics medalist Simone Biles said she didn’t expect to win a medal in the balance beam final on Tuesday.
“It’s been a very long week, five very long years. I didn’t expect to win a medal today, I just wanted to go out and do it for myself, and that’s what I did,” Biles said after winning the bronze medal.
The 24-year-old superstar has been in the limelight for much of the Games for retiring from other gymnastics events due to mental health issues. She first retired after the vault rotation in the women’s team finals last week, then also retired from the all-around, uneven bars and vault.
She broke down in tears while addressing the media after the first withdrawal. “Anytime you find yourself in a high stress situation, you panic a little bit,” she said. “I have to focus on my mental health and not put my health and well-being at risk.”
After winning bronze on his last chance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Biles said the medal was more special than his bronze on the beam at the Rio 2016 Games.
“I will cherish it for a long time,” she said.
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