OLYMPIC GAMES | GYMNASTICS

How many Olympic medals has Simone Biles? What's her position in US historical ranking?

As has been well documented in the last few days Simone Biles was unable to chase the goal of becoming the first female gymnast in history to take five golds.

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How many Olympic medals has Simone Biles? What's her position in US historical ranking?
LOIC VENANCE AFP

The name Simone Biles will go down in Olympic Games history. Coming into the delayed Tokyo 2020, she was one of the athletes with most attention on her but, as it turned out, that 'pressure of the world on her shoulders' proved too much.

The legend of Biles: down, but back up

Not seen in competition since the first Tuesday, when she abruptly dropped out of the team event after one vault, citing mental health issues, Biles is lined up to return on the second Tuesday for the beam final to ensure a blockbuster finish to the gymnastics schedule. Having spent the past week sitting in the stands as a cheerleader rather than setting the arena alight with her jaw-dropping acrobatic skills, Biles will look to end a tumultuous Olympics on a golden high.

Simone Biles and her medal piles

While there are plenty of big names and up-and-coming stars at the Olympics, few carry the universal appeal of Biles or the once-in-a-generation – or perhaps lifetime – talent that the 24-year-old possesses. The gymnast is the most decorated of all time in the US with a combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals. Tokyo had been considered her opportunity to break Vitaly Scherbo’s record of 33 World and Olympic medals to become the most decorated gymnast in history, male or female.

Biles was targeting gold in six events heading into these Games, needing only four to take Scherbo’s record. She was also looking to become the first woman in more than half a century to win back-to-back Olympic all-around titles after Vera Caslavska in 1968 and she was expected to replace Shannon Miller (seven medals) as the most decorated Olympic gymnast in US history. Larisa Latynina’s incredible Olympic haul of 18 medals – 14 of them individual – and with nine golds overall is likely to hold for a some time yet.

Rio: a golden debut

Biles was still a junior in 2012 when the Games were held in London and so this is only her second Olympic appearance, after Rio. There she landed four golds and a bronze, which placed her 23rd on the all-time list of female Olympic gymnasts.

In Tokyo she has already collected a silver medal and now has the chance to add another in the balance beam final.

You'll be able to follow it all with our daily Olympic Games live blog.