Simone Biles added another impressive chapter to her already extraordinary career by winning her 20th world championship gold medal at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. The 26-year-old, who recently returned to gymnastics after a two-year mental health hiatus, played a pivotal role in securing a historic victory for the United States in the women’s team final on Wednesday.
Biles’ mesmerizing floor routine not only ensured her team’s triumph but also marked the USA’s seventh consecutive world title in the women’s team category. The American squad, consisting of Biles, Skye Blakey, Shilese Jones, Joscelyn Roberson, and Leanne Wong, displayed exceptional teamwork. Unfortunately, Roberson, who trains with Biles in Texas, suffered an ankle injury during warmups and was unable to compete.
Wong, stepping up to the challenge, filled the void left by Roberson, participating in the vault and floor exercises. Biles contributed significantly, recording scores of 14.800 in the vault, 14.466 on the bars, and 14.300 on the beam. She saved her awe-inspiring floor routine for last, knowing that a stellar performance would secure another gold medal for herself and her teammates.
A picture of confidence and grace, Biles executed her intricate twists and turns flawlessly, leaving the audience and judges in awe. She received an impressive score of 15.166 for her final routine. The US team secured victory by a margin of 2.199 points, making the final competition a closer contest than anticipated, given their dominant performance in the qualifying rounds.
Reflecting on the day’s challenges, Biles remarked, “It wasn’t Team USA’s best day. It’s crazy, we still pulled it out. So I’m really, really proud of the team.” With this victory, Biles now has 26 world championship medals, including 20 gold, three silver, and three bronze medals.
In addition to her individual accomplishments, Biles made history by becoming the first woman to represent the United States at six artistic world championships. Biles also became the first woman to successfully execute the Yurchenko double pike vault—a challenging skill traditionally performed only by male gymnasts—during an international competition.
Biles is set to compete in the women’s individual all-around final on Friday, followed by the women’s vault and uneven bars finals on October 7.