Simone Biles already wore the crown. On Thursday, she got the gold medal to go with it.
Biles’ dominant victory in the all-around gymnastics competition only confirmed what everyone already knew: The Texan ranks as the greatest of all time.
Only Nadia Comaneci, who won three gold medals at the 1976 Olympics, even enters the conversation.
“For me, the most special was my first one, Nadia, and my last one, Simone,” said Martha Karolyi, the national team coordinator who coached Comaneci in Romania before defecting to the U.S. “Those really stand out from my 50 years of coaching. …I would put Simone on top, because she has done everything. I don’t see anyone else win three world championships and an Olympic title.”
Biles, 19, is the Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky, Jesse Owens of her sport. She is the GOAT.
Biles has three consecutive world all-around titles, a first in gymnastics, and her 10 world championship gold medals rank as the most all time for any woman. She won her first Olympic gold medal Tuesday in team competition as Team USA was dubbed the greatest gymnastics team of all time.
Biles has won 14 consecutive all-around finals.
She can win three more gold medals this Olympics, too. No gymnast ever has left with five gold medals, but Biles rates as a favorite in the floor, vault and beam events this weekend.
“It would be amazing and I … well, that’s crazy to think about,” Biles said. “But I just have to stay focused whenever I go into my event finals.”
The gold medal was decided before the competition started. No other gymnast can do what Biles can, leaving the Spring native with a huge advantage in the difficultly score.
“We all knew that Simone was going to win, and I was hoping to get second,” U.S. teammate Aly Raisman admitted.
Raisman did just that, scoring 60.098, to finish second to Biles’ 62.198. Russia’s Aliya Mustafina took the bronze.
Biles scored 15.866 on the vault to take the lead after one rotation, but scored only a 14.966 on her least favorite event, the uneven bars, and dropped to second behind Mustafina.
“That’s a normal score for me,” Biles said. “I wasn’t upset. I was just relieved that bars were over, because I’ve been struggling with that. … It was fine.”
The “bouncy” gymnast regained the lead on the beam with a 15.433 and, as the last performer of the night, needed only a 13.833 on floor, her favorite event, to win.
“I was like, ‘We got this, baby,’ ” said Aimee Boorman, Biles’ personal coach at the Biles-owned World Champions Centre in Spring.
Biles scored a 15.933 on her floor exercise to continue the Americans’ dominance, following Carly Patterson (2004), Nastia Liukin (2008) and Gabby Douglas (2012) as all-around Olympic champions.
Karolyi called Biles a “force of nature.”
After not crying at the team competition, Biles and Raisman ruined their makeup Thursday with tears of joy. Glitter from Biles’ eyes dried on her cheeks.
“Because I knew I had finally done it,” Biles explained. “I don’t know. Every emotion hit me at once, so it was just kind of a train wreck.”
A reporter asked Biles if she was happy with her performance. It was meant as a joke.
“Well, obviously, yes!” she said with emphasis, as if to say, “Duh!”
Biles, though, would not entertain talk of “the greatest ever.” She repeatedly has said it’s for others to judge.
“No,” she said again when asked about her place in history. “I don’t know [who is], but probably not me.”
If she leaves it for others to decide, Biles wins in a landslide.
“Simone Biles is the best female gymnast there has ever been,” said Canada’s Ellie Black, who finished fifth. “She’s incredible. She’s amazing. It’s hard to win against her.”
Impossible is everything.