RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Simone Biles put the finishing touches on one of the greatest Olympics by a gymnast, capturing her fourth gold of the games with a showstopping performance in the floor exercise on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old American completed an extraordinary stretch that included a team gold for the “Final Five” as well as individual golds in the all-around and vault and bronze on balance beam. Her five medals tie the most for an American female gymnast in a single Olympics and her four golds tie an Olympic record shared by four others.
Biles embraced her longtime coach shortly after her routine – which includes a tumbling pass named in her honor and a Brazilian-themed segment intended to play to the crowd in Rio – and beamed when her score of 15.966 was posted.
Teammate Aly Raisman followed with a 15.500 to give her a third medal during Rio and six overall in her Olympic career. The 22-year-old team captain – who was second in the all-around to Biles last week – waved to the stands as she walked off the floor, likely for the final time as a competitor.
The medals gave the American women nine during the meet, the most ever by the U.S. at an Olympics.
Amy Tinkler of Great Britain earned bronze, though the day – and really the Olympics – belong to Biles. While she admitted she was a bit tired on Monday after her only one real mistake of the games – a wobbly landing on beam that cost her a shot at gold – Biles hardly looked it during her signature event.
Buoyant in a glittery red, white and blue leotard, Biles spent 90 seconds showcasing her talent. She doesn’t tumble so much as fly, her 4-foot-8 frame soaring over the white mat as if she was trying to touch the video board three stories above. She plans to take a break following the closing ceremonies and try to adjust to a life that will never be the same after nine days that elevated her from gymnastics’ best-kept secret to star.
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