Is Simone Biles the greatest athlete of all time?

Justin Whitner | Staff Writer

Simone Biles is now the most dec- orated gymnast ever, male or female. 

Sitting with 25 medals puts her in the discussion of the best athletes of all time. Biles has won the gold medal in the all-around competition at the World Championships every year in which she’s competed since 2013. To put this in perspective, she has not lost an all- around competition in which she has competed in six years. This is impres- sive as is but what makes it even more remarkable is the length of time of her dominance. After her Oct. 10 victory, Biles was asked to step back and con- sider the heights she has reached in the field of gymnastics. 

“I don’t know; I feel like it’s not me,” Biles told The New York Times.

“Sometimes I wonder how I do it. I feel like it’s just, like, not me. I wish I could have like an out-of-body experience to witness it, because sometimes I think
I’m going crazy.”

Biles finished the Oct. 10 all-around competition with a score of  58.999. This was the largest margin of victory in her career. While Biles is getting better with time, other legendary gymnasts have
spoken on the greatness of Biles as of late as well. Coaches, players and analysts have all taken notice of how amazing she is.

“She is absolutely the best I have ever seen,” said Liang Chow, the coach of the Chinese team, according to USA Today.

Nadia Comaneci, who was the first gymnast to score a perfect 10, spoke on Biles as well.

“If we’re talking about domination, nothing like that has ever happened in our sport,” Comaneci told Vox. “I don’t think there will ever be anything like that. She’s one of a kind.”

Although Biles is one of a kind it will be hard for her to get the recognition she will every truly deserve.

Gymnastics is a very talented sport, but it does not get the same recognition as almost any of the other competitions.

The average span of a gymnastics athlete can be from 2 to 5 years.

For example, the third female on the list for World Championship medals won by a woman is Romanian Gina Gogean. She finished her career with nine medals. Gogean competed at five world championships between 1993 and 1998, winning a silver medal in the all-around competition.

The span of an Olympic female gymnast career tends to taper off when they turn 18. It’s rare for gymnasts to perform at two Olympic Games. Biles
achieved her awards in this time span even after taking a whole year off after the Rio Olympics. When she returned to competition in early August, that was her first competition in 712 days. Biles is getting better with time, still improving and will head the Tokyo in 2020.

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