When Simone Biles steps up to the mat at the Tokyo Olympic Games, analysts, commentators and many athletes agree that the only person she’ll really be competing against is herself.
The big picture: The G.O.A.T. — aka the Greatest of All Time — is a force to be reckoned with in and out of competition, and at this year’s Olympics, Biles is looking to make history — again and again.
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When to watch:
Team final – July 27 at 6:45 a.m. ET
Individual all around – July 29 at 6:50 a.m. ET
Event finals – Aug. 1-3 at 4 a.m. ET every day
Possible records in Tokyo:
If Biles wins five gold medals, she’ll become the most gold-winning female U.S. Olympian in any sport (she could tie for the world record) and the first American woman to earn five golds at a single Olympics games.
The 24-year-old is also looking to become the first back-to-back Olympic all-around gold medalist in 53 years.
What she’s saying:
“I wanted to give up,” Biles told Glamour magazine about her reaction to last year’s postponement of the games. “But it would have been dumb because I’ve worked way too hard.”
“In 2016, I thought I’d hit the peak of my career, and I was like. ‘How can I get any better than that?'” Biles told the Wall Street Journal about preparing for the Olympics. “And so I was really nervous walking into the gym.”
“Now I can enjoy my gymnastics. It’s really up to me,” Biles told the Journal. “And that probably comes along with how many titles I’ve won and everything I’ve established. It’s like, OK, well, the facts are on the paper. I feel like now I don’t have to prove anything to anybody.”
“I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps – I’m the first Simone Biles,” she famously said at the 2016 Olympics.
2016 Rio Games:
Biles is the most decorated gymnast in world championship history, with 25 medals, including 19 golds.
She has four gymnastics moves named after her: Two on the floor, one on the vault and one on beam.
If Biles lands the Yurchenko double pike — the massively difficult vault she successfully performed at the GK U.S. Classic — at the Olympics, she’ll likely have a fifth move named after her.
Simone Biles competes on the balance beam at the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Simone Biles competes on the uneven bars during the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials. Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
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