Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in US history, has added another gold medal to her collection. On Wednesday, she led Team USA to win its seventh consecutive world title in the women’s team final at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. This was her 20th world championship gold medal and her first international competition in two years.
Biles performed a stunning floor routine that secured the victory for the US, which scored 172.662 points, ahead of China (166.863) and Great Britain (164.096). She also contributed to the team’s score on vault, uneven bars, and balance beam.
Biles makes history with a new vault skill
Biles also made history on the opening day of the competition when she became the first woman to land the Yurchenko double pike vault at an international event. The vault, which involves a roundoff, back handspring, and two flips with straight legs, is one of the most difficult skills in gymnastics and has only been done by men before.
The vault will now be named after Biles, who already has four other skills named after her on floor, beam, and vault. This makes her the first woman to have two skills named after her on the same apparatus.
Biles opens up about her mental health and comeback journey
Biles’ impressive performance in Antwerp comes after a challenging period in her career and personal life. She withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 due to mental health issues and a condition called “the twisties”, which causes gymnasts to lose spatial awareness in the air.
She took a break from the sport to focus on her well-being and therapy. She also spoke candidly about her struggles and the importance of prioritizing her emotional health.
“I’m not like 16 anymore. I’m 26. Everything feels different. I feel like I’m thinking a little bit more about my gymnastics. It’s not so carefree,” she said after winning her latest gold medal.
She also said that she was enjoying her comeback journey and that winning her 20th world title felt “different, but exciting”.
Biles will compete in the all-around final on Friday and in four individual events over the weekend. She has a chance to win more medals and break more records at the World Championships.