Simone Biles had been considered, among gymnastic experts, as the greatest gymnast ever—though she hadn’t even competed in an Olympic event. But now the world knows why.
United States’ Simone Biles waves on the podium after receiving her gold medal in the artistic gymnastics women’s individual all-around final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
The 19-year-old African-American acrobat out of Spring, Texas, has completely dominated the events she has appeared in so far during the 2016 Olympics in Rio, earning two gold medals. She won her first Olympic gold medal as a member of the USA women gymnastic team in the team all-round event finals on Aug. 9. Biles was grouped with four other extremely talented American gymnasts, including Gabby Douglass, who shook the world up during the 2012 Olympics in London when she became the first African-American woman in Olympic history to win gold in the individual all-around and the first American gymnast of any gender or ethnicity to earn a gold medal in both the individual all-around and team all-around events during the same Olympics. Biles is now the second American to pull off the feat as she won her second gold medal in Rio by destroying the competition in the individual all-around finals on Aug. 11.
Biles won the individual all-around with a total score of 62.198; it was the largest margin of victory over the rest of field in Olympics history. One of her all-around teammates, Aly Raisman won silver with a score of 60.098. The 2.1 point difference is staggering considering that when Douglass won the individual all-around in 2012, she edged out Russian gymnast Viktoria Komova by a mere 0.259 points. The greatest margin of victory by any gymnast under the current format before this was a 1.20.
United States’ Simone Biles performs on the floor during the artistic gymnastics women’s individual all-around final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Biles, who already owns the most international competition medals of any female gymnast ever with 16 (12 gold), has three other remaining events to compete in this year’s Olympics. If she wins the individual vault, individual beam and individual floor events, she will take home five gold medals in her first Olympics appearance.