Simone Biles returned to the competition at the Tokyo Olympics in style, and will leave with another medal.
What color it is really isn’t the point. That she delivered a tense, heart-pounding routine on the balance beam and nailed it with a smile meant everything.
Biles looked calm as she moved, turned and flipped across the beam. It was everyone else watching who held their breath.
Biles won the bronze medal when she drilled a slightly altered routine in front of a crowd that included IOC President Thomas Bach a week after taking herself out of several competitions to focus on her mental health.
That move by the gymnast regarded the greatest in history had amplified attention on the importance of mental health in sports in general, and among Olympians specifically.
Biles changed her routine a bit while dealing with a mental block surrounding twisting. She used a double-pike dismount - no twisting required - to score a 14.000, which was ultimately good enough for third in the eight-woman final, behind China’s Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing.
Biles earned her seventh career Olympic medal and tied Shannon Miller for the most by an American in gymnastics.
Olympic all-around champion Sunisa Lee of the United States finished fifth. The 18-year-old Lee won three medals in Tokyo, including silver in the team final and bronze on uneven bars.