Simone Biles Becomes Most Decorated Female Gymnast in History With 21st Medal

Simone Biles Becomes Most Decorated Female Gymnast in History
Simone Biles of USA celebrates after winning the women’s team final at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, on October 8, 2019. Ronald Wittek/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Simone Biles won her 21st medal at the world gymnastics championships in Stuttgart, Germany, on Tuesday, October 8, making her the most decorated female gymnast in history.

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“Every year it feels better and better just because we’re adding to the legacy,” the 22-year-old told reporters of the U.S. team, per the Associated Press. “I feel like I never think of records. I just go out there and do what I came to do, which is compete for the country.”

It was the 15th gold of Biles’ career, breaking a tie with Russian gymnast Svetlana Khorkina for the most medals overall by a woman at the world championships. Belarusian gymnast Vitaly Scherbo holds the all-time record among men or women with 23 medals.

The U.S. team bested Russia by 5.801 points with a score of 172.330, making it America’s seventh consecutive team title at a world championship or Olympics.

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Biles, for her part, had the best individual scores on the vault, balance beam and floor on Tuesday.

“It’s just so surreal to come out here and end up on top with the strength of the team that we have, even after having a couple falls out there,” she said, calling the win “the sickest medal we’ve ever had.”

The athlete also celebrated the victory on Twitter, writing, “We did the damn things. 2019 world champions.”

Biles was part of the Final Five team at the 2016 Summer Olympios in Rio de Janeiro, along with Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Aly Raisman and Madison Kocian.

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The Ohio native said in March that she “definitely” anticipates the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo being her last.

“I am in pain most of the time but it kind of feels right as if not, it is like you could do more,” she told BBC Sport at the time. “I feel like my body’s gone through a lot and it’s kind of just falling apart.”

Next up, Biles will defend her women’s individual all-around title on Thursday, October 10.

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