Simone Biles balance beam final in Tokyo: GOAT�s greatest gymnastics moments.

Simone Biles' career was so extraordinary that, before the Tokyo Olympics, the only surprise left was how many new and amazing skills she managed to show us, just because they were possible. It's not surprising that viewers took her extraordinary skill and execution for eight years as a given. Biles will do things that we have never seen before. She'll perform amazing feats of strength and grace, and push the sport to new heights we didn't even know existed. Advertisement This is why her abrupt withdrawal from the Tokyo team and individual finals on balance beam was so shocking. It is why Monday's announcement that she would compete on the Olympic finals in balance beam, the last event for which she qualified, brought such excitement (and nerves, for some). Many believed that the past had taught us what the future would look like, despite the fact that it was the most shocking sporting event ever. But surprise! Lucky us. She returned, probably one more time. Advertisement Advertisement Subscribe to the Slate Culture newsletter and receive the best movies, TV, music, books, and other news straight to your inbox. Signing you up was not possible due to an error Please try again. To use this form, please enable jаvascript. Email address: I would like to receive updates on Slate special offers. You agree to our Privacy Policy & Terms by signing up. Thank you for signing up! You can cancel your subscription at any time. Let's face it. We can all see that after the trip weve been on these Olympicswe here mean Biles and her best friend The Entire World. She could have mounted the apparatus at Tokyos beam final, done two jumps, fallen four more times, then dismounted with the cartwheel backtuck I did in 1988 and we (the whole world) would be bawling. But she didnt. She did it. She was able to get through her feisty wolf turn, eliminate all of her connecting skills and fly off the apparatus with the most powerful, airiest double pike that I have ever seen. Advertisement The amazing ways she has transformed the sport of gymnastics are beyond words. The context and execution of this performance means that third place (behind two outstanding routines by Guanchenchen and Tang Xijing), will be remembered as one the greatest achievements of a legendary career. Biles is known for grudges against previous iterations of herself; she also mentions competing in Paris as an apparatus specialist to pay homage to her French coaches. Despite the fact that this could be her last competition, it's a great time to place Biles' triumphant return to competition Tuesday morning within the context of her historical career. It is one of her most memorable moments in a career that was jam-packed with them. Advertisement Advertisement Simone Biles, the greatest female athlete ever, would be considered the greatest if athletic greatness could be measured in one metric. Although some may mistake greatness for winning gold at the Olympics in the Olympics, it is impossible to ignore Biles' legacy in the sport that she has dominated for eight consecutive years. It is fair to reduce the most successful career in gymnastics history to a small number of accomplishments. This includes Biles extracurricular record where she helped to shut down an abusive system, held those responsible accountable, and set a new standard in Tokyo for the value of gymnasts' mental and physical health. It is impossible to describe the gymnast's efforts in defining difficulty in a sport that quantifies them. I will keep trying. Here are the 10 best moments Simone Biles has ever achieved in gymnastics, just before the (possible?) end of her career. 10. 2013. World Championships: Debut of the Floor Biles Advertisement Advertisement In elite gymnastics, the year following an Olympics is generally quite calm. They don't need to push themselves too hard or they will reach their peak performance before the next Games. They can burn out or get hurt if they push too hard. It was not common for a 16-year old from Spring, Texas to show up at 2013 Worlds equipped with a new floor skill (see Biles second pass). This required immense power and precision. The double salto (a flip in the laid-out position) is already one of the most difficult tumbling passes in all of the world. Biles also added a half twist in the second rotation, which resulted in a potentially dangerous blind landing at end. Biles won the 2013 all-around by nearly a point if gymnastics didn't pay attention to her before. Most gymnasts consider this the pinnacle in their careers. They would be honored to have the skill named after them and go home as the champions of the world. Simone Biles won it as the first of five World Championships. 9. 2016 Rio Olympics Biles's five Olympic medals are the ninth most remarkable thing she has done. She did manage to vault two incredible vaults, a near-perfect Cheng and Amanar, which helped her reach the all-around medal podium and later to the top of vault medal podium (margin to victory: 0.713). Advertisement Yes, she did win floor by nearly half a point. She also owns a legend tumbler named Aly Raisman. Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Simone almost fell off the beam, but she still took home bronze. Biles won the 2016 Olympics with a stunning performance before she took a well-deserved one year break. 8. 8. Advertisement Biles was unable to compete in Rio 2017 after a year of hiatus. Biles did it again. She was stronger than ever. Upgrades are gymnastic terms for replacing hard skills with better ones, such as the Moorsdouble-twisting double layout that you can see above. It literally falls from the sky. We would not see her again with the Moors after 2018, as she would soon upgrade. Biles won her fifth consecutive U.S. Championships in 2018 by six points over two nights. She also won all five events: vault, beam floor, floor and bars. As a tribute for survivors of sexual assault, she did it all in teal. 7. At the 2018 World Championships, Silver on Uneven Bars Advertisement Advertisement An off-year silver medal is indeed more impressive than all of Rio Olympics. Here's why: Bars is Biles least favourite event. Biles' advantage is not reflected in the fact that 2008 Olympic champion Nastia LIUKIN has never missed an NBC broadcast. This event, unlike the three others, where lower-body strength, power and speed are vital, relies almost exclusively on rhythm and upper body. It didn't happen until she spent a whole year under new coaches Laurent Landi, and she returned to the top of the world on the apparatus she hates. Great gymnasts excel at events she is predisposed to. A stratospheric gymnast must be able to dominate an event that isn't her natural ability, even if it takes one year. (Biles wouldn't be able to attack the bars again with the same intensity she used in 2018). 6. 6. Advertisement Advertisement Biles debuted the most difficult vault ever seen at 2018 Worlds: a roundoff backhandspring with a half twist onto the table and then a salto (and blind landing) with two twists. Simones' upgrade to Cheng was also a correction. The International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) gave the Biles vault an equal difficulty rating to the Produnovaa fronthandspring double tuck. This is the Vault of Death that many gymnasts would chuck at every Olympics. Biles' execution was flawless, so a Produnova chucked would not be able beat her. This disincentivized vault finals and made them safer for all time. 5. 5. Advertisement Advertisement Biles added two new skills to the 2019 season. Both were named after her success at 2019 Worlds. The beam dismount, the double-back salto with two twists and a full-in, was thrown onto the full-in. It is the second-most difficult beam dismount in the entire world. The controversy erupted when the FIG gave the dismount an H rating. This is the highest-rated beam dismount in Code of Points. It is worth 0.8 in difficulty and is just a tenth of a points higher than the full in. Advertisement FIG issued a statement saying that the Womens Technical Committee had considered dismounts risks and that it didn't want gymnasts incentivized or forced to break their necks for extra tenths. The unlikely possibility that a gymnast would ever dismount from a beam in imitation of Biles made it seem paternalistic. In fact, very few gymnasts compete full-in and this led to the incorrect narrative that Biles is so great that she has had some skills banned in order not to be outclassed. Her determination to compete in the Biles in 2021 despite the tiny tenth she was granted, was a further sign of her greatness as well as her autonomy. 4. 4. Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement World-class gymnasts have the opportunity to open their floor routines by performing a tucked doubledouble. This skill was first performed in 1988 by Daniela Silivas, a Romanian legend in tumbling. Biles performs it as a fourth pass or dismount at the end of her routine. Most world-class gymnasts are exhausted after performing full-endurance acrobatics for over a minute. They are thankful to be able to produce a simple skill like the zero-twisting single pike. What does the GOAT mount use? Triple-double: This is a near-indefinable tumble pass that includes two flips and three twists. This dizzying skill is so difficult that only a few men have ever managed it. But, as you can see, the 4-foot-8 Biles executes it faster in the air (and sometimes even higher!) Her male counterparts are less skilled than her. Advertisement Biles' skills are complex enough that it is difficult to list their difficulty and how well they are executed. This can cause a gymnastics head, who may be unable to understand what she is saying, to speak in gibberish. We gesticulate wild-eyed at the blur of flippy things. If you are unsure, don't be afraid: The Biles triple-double is one the most beautiful elements of Biles' legacy. 3. The 2018 World Championships with a Kidney Stone Advertisement Advertisement Talking about not understanding: There was some chatter after Biles pulled out of most Tokyo events. Some people remarked that she was a symbol of a generation lacking the champion mentality of, for example, a podcaster who is too chickenshit in order to get a tiny shot to ward off a plague. To all those people, 2018 Worlds was where Biles debuted a vault, won all-around by more that a point, and even fell twice (yes, she biffed and got back up), and she did this with an active, unmedicated kidneystone she named the Doha Pearl after the meet Qatar location. A kidney stone pain has been described by some as unmedicated childbirth for men. Biles returned home with five medals after taking maybe two Tylenol. 2. 2. At the top, I noticed that Biles would have sobbed if he had even attempted a single cartwheel on a beam and then hopped down. The world forgot who we were dealing here. Simone Biles doesn't chuck. She competes in routines that she is confidently proficient in or she gives up her spot to another competitor. Biles demonstrated this in Tokyo: she doesn't compete until she is fully prepared to bring it. It was brought Tuesday. Two amazing routines, including Guan Chenchen's winner, edged Biles out. This made her a hard-earned bronze and tied Shannon Miller's record for U.S. women with seven Olympic medals. Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Aly Raisman explained that nail beam skills are achieved by attacking the apparatus as if you were trying to break it. After this routine, the plank was gone. Biles dominated it almost flawlessly with only a small continuity break and an impressive (and twist-free!) dismount. After watching the GOAT pull out of four consecutive meets, Intact was the world's heart. Then, Biles summoned the nerve, poise and mental toughness to return to the podium at a women's event that is nerve-racking even on the best days. 1. The Yurchenko Double Pike, 2021 U.S. Classic Advertisement Advertisement Simone Biles didn't have to upgrade her vault. She didn't have to do it, and she certainly wasn't expected to. But, what began as a fun exercise for improving her block (the jump off the table that allows gymnasts flip and twist) turned into something more. At the 2021 U.S. Classic Biles completed a vault that included a second flip. This was something that no male gymnast (or very few) had ever attempted in competition. After a career that saw the use of hagiographic modifiers become a pathological habit, Biles did something that made even Tim Daggett speechless. Biles tweeted that she couldn't believe it from the competition floor. Advertisement This vault is a double Yurchenko, so named after the backhandspring entry. It's in the difficult piked position. McKayla Maroney, a legend in female gymnastics, once tried out a tucked version. She was quickly eighty-sixed immediately by Marta Karolyi (an ex-national team coordinator who apparently decided to care more about athletes safety than anyone else). However, no female gymnast has ever fever-dreamed of a double-flipping vault back handspring vault. This was and is so far beyond what women's gymnastics can be, I don't really know how to describe it. Advertisement Advertisement Biles loves to let her gymnastics speak for herself, as Nastia Liukin stated on air during the debut of the double pike. That was exactly what made the Tokyo withdrawals so difficult. The gymnastics suddenly couldn't. It couldn't at that moment. You know what? It is regrettable that she could not compete in the double pike at the Olympics, but it is not a major problem. This vault will always be on film at these Games, even in podium training. Advertisement Although I enjoyed trying to describe how incredible this vault is and how amazing Biles is, and will continue to be, I don't think I can do it justice. Words will not capture the incredible ways she has transformed the sport of gymnastics. In this instance, however, the silence speaks more loudly than the silence of Biles' vault time. The silence she maintains is longer than any laws of physics could have permitted a human being (very human) to conjure before she finally lands on her feet.