Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles will return for Tuesday’s balance beam final, the last gymnastics competition of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The 24-year-old American missed the previous four finals at the Games for mental-health reasons.
USA Gymnastics made the announcement that Biles will have one final shot at winning an individual gold medal in Tokyo early on Monday morning.
The balance beam competition will be Biles’ first since last Tuesday when she withdrew from the team final competition after struggling at her first vault attempt and posting a shockingly low score (13.766). Biles attributed her struggles to “the twisties” — a relatively common yips-like issue for gymnastics.
Without Biles, the U.S. still won silver in the team final. But following that team competition, Biles withdrew from the all-around, vault, uneven bars, and floor-exercise finals to preserve her mental and physical health. The U.S. medaled in all four of those events, winning gold in the all-around, bronze in the uneven bars, silver in the vault, and gold on the floor.
Biles has an extensive history with the balance beam and all of it portends well for Team USA. She’s won three gold medals in the event in the World Championships and added a bronze in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The women’s balance-beam final will take place Tuesday at 4 a.m. Eastern. Biles and Suni Lee will represent the U.S.