Simone Biles Says Her Health Is Worth More Than ‘All Medals That I Could Ever Win’

The Olympian scored a bronze medal in balance beam on Tuesday, tying the record for the most medals of any American gymnast.

Simone Biles Says Her Health Is Worth More Than ‘All Medals That I Could Ever Win’
Photo:Jamie Squire (Getty Images)

After a tumultuous couple of weeks at the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles returned to the mat on Tuesday, scoring the bronze medal in balance beam.

The athlete, whom The Guardian notes is “by far the best gymnast in the world,” notably withdrew from many of her scheduled events after experiencing an awful combination of both mental duress and “the twisties,” which the Associated Press explains is “the sudden inability for gymnasts to make the requisite spins or sometimes any spins.” On top of that, People reports that her aunt “unexpectedly passed” while she was in Japan.

Biles pulled through, however, netting a third-place finish in Tuesday’s event behind Chinese athletes Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing.

With seven Olympic medals total, the 24-year-old is now tied with Shannon Miller for the most awarded American gymnast. It’s likely she could have won more medals in some other timeline—per ABC News, she was favored for gold in four different events—but based on Biles’ recent statements to the press, it sounds like she has no regrets.

“My mental and physical health is above all medals that I could ever win,” Biles told The Guardian. “So to be clear, to do beam, which I didn’t think I was going to be, just meant the world to be back out there. And I wasn’t expecting to walk away with the medal. I was just going out there doing this for me.”

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