#BlackGirlMagic: Simone Biles Shatters Gymnastics Record by Winning Her 21st Medal in the Sport

Simone Biles performs on the balance beam during the Women’s Team Finals at the gymnastics world championships Oct. 8, 2019, in Stuttgart, Germany.
Photo: Laurence Griffiths (Getty)

Gymnastics phenom Simone Biles became the most-medaled woman in the sport Tuesday when she won her 21st medal at the gymnastics world championships.

Biles’ gold medal at the competition—her 15th career gold, according to CBS News—helped the women’s USA team capture its fifth straight world team title.

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That team effort, that team victory, was what it was all about for Biles, who was ready to celebrate.

“For all of it,” she told NBC Sports. “For the team. For the medal count. Fifth year in a row.”

Modesty aside, Biles’ record-breaking feat puts her in line to smash an even higher ceiling—by becoming the winningest gymnast, man or woman. (Editor’s note: The gymnast also had yet another maneuver named for her during last weekend’s competition; the triple-double she landed is now officially named the Biles II.)

As CBS News explained:

Biles is now two short of Vitaly Scherbo’s all-time record of 23 [gymnastic medals] among men or women.

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And Biles is favored to get one step closer to that feat with an expected victory in Thursday’s all-around final.

Now, hard as it may be for some to believe, Biles recognizes that she may not be competing for much longer. At 22 years of age, she is a true veteran among a team of teenagers.

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But as she told NBC Sports, she relishes that feeling of pent-up anticipation and nervous energy she gets every time she prepares to take to the mat.

“Sometimes I wish I would quit,” Biles said. “The other day, we walked out there, and I was like, ‘I literally hate this feeling, and I don’t know why I keep forcing myself to do it.’

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“I hate that feeling like I’m going to puke before,” she continued. “But, you know, we love the thrill of it. Reminds me to never give up because one day I won’t have the opportunity to get that feeling.”

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