all hail our g.o.a.t.
Simone Biles is now undisputed gymnastics G.O.A.T. with 6th world all-around gold medal
Standing four feet, eight inches, Simone Biles is now the undisputed giant of modern gymnastics. As multiple news outlets have reported, Biles landed yet another all-around gold medal on Friday, October 7 at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.
That win makes her the most decorated gymnast in history — female or male.
The Houston native scored a combined 58.399 points — across the balance beam, floor, vault, and uneven bars — to best reigning champion Rebeca Andrade of Brazil by 1.633 points, per NBC Sports. Impressively, she has won all four of her all-around competitions since she returned to competition after a two-year break.
Notably, Biles became the first female gymnast to win six all-around world titles in the very Belgian city where she scored her very first world title as a 16-year-old competitor 10 years ago. And while she seems ageless, Biles is now the oldest U.S. woman to ever win a world championship medal at age 26, per USA Olympics.
Biles now boasts 34 world and Olympic medals: seven are Olympic medals, while 27 are world championship medals — 21 of which are gold.
Always poised, Biles’ eyes welled up as the national anthem played during the medal ceremony on Friday.
.@Simone_Biles’ reaction is everything 🇺🇸
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) October 6, 2023
“I was emotional because it was my first worlds here 10 years ago, and then now my sixth one, so it is crazy,” she said, per NBC Sports, of her 2013 Worlds debut. “But I swear, I do have something in my eye that’s been bothering me for like four hours, and I cannot get it out. So while I was looking up there, it was like a combination of both.”
Another poignant — and historic moment — for the first time ever in gymnastics, the world all-around podium was comprised of three Black gymnasts: Biles, Andrade, and Biles’ U.S. teammate Shilese Jones, who scored the bronze medal, with 56.332 points.
The first all-Black world all-around podium!
🥇 Simone Biles
🥈 Rebeca Andrade
🥉 Shilese Jones #ARTWorlds2023 pic.twitter.com/LjUVjPBjRZ
— Gymnastics Now (@Gymnastics_Now) October 6, 2023
This history-making medal day comes after Biles became the first woman to land the Yurchenko double pike vault, which, by gymnastics tradition is now named her honor based on her score. The new skill will henceforth be known as the “Biles II.”
Adding to the Biles G.O.A.T. sheen: an astounding five elements or skills have been named in her honor over the past decade, per The Athletic.
Given that Biles became a lightning rod of controversy and public debate after withdrawing from multiple gymnastics events during 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021 while battling a case of the “twisties,” it should be noted that Biles executed the jaw-dropping Yurchenko (now Biles II) skill in her first return to international competition.
Having only just returned competitive gymnastics in August, Biles is now a living icon for the modern sports era — a view shared by other icons. “I say that almost every half of a century somebody comes [and changes the sport],” Nadia Comaneci told Olympics.com as she watched Biles in the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. “She’s this generation’s modern idol right now.”
Such accomplishments make cries that Biles was a “quitter” (we're looking at you, Tim Constantine) for simply taking a mental health break in Tokyo seem even more laughable now — if that’s even possible. We still love her response to such shade:
Perhaps it’s time, as our columnist Ken Hoffman suggested in February, to start chiseling that Mt. Rushmore of Houston sports. No doubt Simone’s beaming smile will look good in granite.