The Unstoppable Simone Biles To Retire After Tokyo Olympics
Simone Biles, the first woman to win four individual all-around world championships in Doha, has decided to retire after the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The 22-year-old American gymnast who had suffered from a kidney stone and other minor injuries said a difficult training programme has left her body feeling like it is “falling apart.” Biles said, “I definitely plan for the Tokyo Olympics to be my last. I feel like my body’s gone through a lot and it’s kind of just falling apart – not that you can actually tell but I really feel it a lot of the time.”
“I am in pain most of the time but it kind of feels right because if you are not in pain, it is almost like you could be doing more.”
In November last year, Biles became the first woman to win four individual all-around world championships in Doha, creating history. She also claimed her 12th world title. Biles still is a few medals away from leveling the record of 20 world championship medals set by Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina. Despite having been diagnosed with a kidney stone, Biles performed brilliantly at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Qatar in the same year, where she recorded the highest scores for three events.
This year in the selection camp for the upcoming world championships, Biles performed a vault named the Cheng vault, which is a “roundoff onto the board and half turn onto the table…with only one and a half twists off” with an extra half twist. It is reported that this variation on the Cheng vault was successfully performed in competition by male gymnasts only, until when Biles’, too, mastered the form brilliantly, Deadspin reported.
In addition to the all-around, Biles led the US this week to team gold. In August last year, she won a record-breaking fifth US all-around title at the US Gymnastics Championships. During the event, Biles bagged gold in all four events: floor exercise, balance beam, vault and uneven bars, Yahoo reported. Before this, she had taken a 23-month break.
Biles had made a record at the Rio Olympics. Arguably one of the best performers in the history of the sport, the American defeated Russia and China in the team all-around by a wide margin and won the women’s individual all-around by a solid two points. The American is also the three-time world champ.
Biles took a leading role in defending the victims of the sexual abuse perpetrated by the former US Gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar.
Feature Image Credit: cosmopolitan.com