With one chance left to win an individual medal at the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles got it done.
Over a week after withdrawing for the women's team contest after one rotation, then sitting out her next four individual finals, Biles returned to Olympic competition to compete in the balance beam event final. Biles, who had been dealing with a case of "the twisties" — a potentially dangerous condition in which gymnasts experience a disconnect between their mind and body when flying through the air — performed a slightly modified routine to claim the bronze medal.
In place of her usual full-twisting double back tuck dismount, she closed out her routine with a double back pike, executed to near perfection. Her score of 14.000 placed her in third behind China's Guan Chenchen (14.633), the final competitor, and Tang Xijing (14.233).
Biles also took bronze on beam at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She now has seven Olympic medals, tying Shannon Miller as the most decorated American gymnast in history, with four of them gold.
"It's not easy giving up a dream of five years and not getting to do it. It was really, really hard," Biles told the media after the competition. "I've never been in the stands, so I just wasn't used to it so to have one more opportunity to compete meant the world."
Biles later told TODAY that this bronze on balance beam means more than all of her gold medals.
"It means more than all of the golds because I pushed through so much the last five years and the last week while I've even been here," she said. "It was very emotional."