Gymnastics journalist Hannah Robbins discusses Simone Biles’s impact on artistic gymnastics and her record-breaking achievements.
In professional sports, there are few individuals that people debate calling the greatest of all time (GOAT). Most of these athletes don’t deserve the title for one reason or another, but Simone Biles is not among them. She is the first athlete that deserves the title, and her performance at this year’s Artistic Gymnastics World Championships shows that.
This year at the World Championships, Biles became the first gymnast to win 25 medals total at the World Championships, surpassing the previous total by two at the age of 22. This is regardless of nationality or gender. She also has the most total gold medals of any gymnast, at 19. Biles also tied the record for the most gold medals at a single World Championships at five.
Take away those achievements though, and she still is the GOAT. Not only can she win, but she pushes the boundaries further than anyone else in the sport. In gymnastics, women rarely compete after the age of 20, and at this World Championships she unveiled two new skills named after herself: one on floor (the Biles II) and one on balance beam (the Biles). Her skill on the balance beam was actually so complex that the skill was devalued because it was deemed dangerous.
Biles is excelling so much even after taking a year and a half off after the Olympics. To get back to the shape she was in after a break is difficult enough, but to be unveiling more and more difficult elements still? That’s the mark of a GOAT.
As Biles continues to compete, she continues to win by wider and wider margins, despite some technical problems. This only goes to show just that she can do more difficult skills than anyone around and continues to push herself. This year’s all-around victory was by two points, even after Biles made errors and omitted some of her most difficult skills. Keep in mind, the year before Biles started competing as a senior, the all-around victory was determined by .033 points.
Biles continues to push herself to perfect more and more difficult skills, even as the rest of gymnasts struggle to keep up. Even at Biles’ worst event, uneven bars, she has medaled in World Championships, and has not lost an all-around competition since 2013. In a time when gymnastics at the United States is still in turmoil, Biles has continued to excel despite it all.
She is continuing to grow and progress as she prepares to the United States to her second Olympics, sometimes doing even more than men can. Her medals and achievements speak for themselves; especially as comparing her medals with men omits the fact that men have two additional events they compete in each competition, giving them more chances to medal.
Biles is able to rise above it all to excel in a way that is uniquely her, and her constant drive to do more and compete at a higher level means that even when her routines are not as clean as others, her technical ability puts her in a league of her own, making her a true GOAT in artistic gymna