Greatest of all time. Aka the GOAT. For decades we have been debating about who the goat is in nearly every sport known. Michael Jordan or Lebron James? Tom Brady or Joe Montana? But in one sport, the GOAT is almost unanimous: Women’s Gymnastics. She is 24 years old, a native of Texas, and is 4 feet and 8 inches tall. Simone Biles. She has already won 30 medals between the Olympics and World Championships, including 4 gold medals in just one Olympics (2016). She has been touted as one of the most, if not the most, dominant gymnasts to ever live on the face of the earth. But with stardom comes great pressure. The American people not only expect Simone Biles to defend her throne in the events she won in the last Olympics, but also to augment her already decorated resume with more gold medals as well as help the US women’s gymnasts win the team event. Let’s take a look at the outlook for Simone Biles in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Simone Biles is competing in 6 different events: floor exercise, beam, uneven bars, vault, individual all-around, and team. Let’s start off with the team event because that helps to determine who goes into the finals for the individual events because only the top 2 members from each team go to the finals for the individual events. USA is the strong favorite to win the gold medal, but the ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) and China are gaining traction and are expected to win the silver and bronze medals. Simone is leading team USA to make them the favorite, but the rest of the team includes strong gymnasts like Sunisa Lee. Even if Simone doesn’t do her greatest work, she and the team are expected to win the team event because of the strength of team USA compared to every other country. Next, in the floor exercise, Simone is definitely expected to easily take the gold because of the level of difficulty as well as her execution. She is simply flawless in the floor exercise because of her nimbleness. If she doesn’t win the gold, it would truly be a shocking upset because she has a couple of tricks up her sleeve that no one other woman has tried before in a competition in women’s gymnastics. Even if she makes mistakes like accidentally going off the mat, she is easily expected to demolish her competition.
The balance beam event is something that is a bit up for grabs. In 2016, Simone Biles made a few errors, which resulted in the bronze medal instead of the gold. This year, she hopes to bounce back and perform her act flawlessly (like she does in every other event) to claim the gold medal. She is a world champion in this event multiple times and is still a favorite to win the gold in the 2020 Olympics. The Chinese are extremely strong in this event though, so there will definitely be some competition to fight against the sheer dominance of Simone Biles. In the uneven bars, Simone is not expected to win a medal because of the dominance of her fellow teammate, Sunisa Lee, who has a very difficult act that can definitely win the gold if she can execute it, along with strong competitors from both China and Belgium.
In the vault, Simone can and probably will win the gold medal, but it won’t be won without a strong fight from not only competitors from other countries, but also her own team members, including MyKayla Skinner. Simone is expected to show-off a move that has never been performed successfully by any other women in competition: The Yurchenko double pike. The vault is extremely difficult and if she can perform it successfully, she is definitely going to win. But regardless, she has perfected her other vaults to ensure that she can still win gold even if she doesn’t shock the world by performing the Yurchenko double pike. The final competition we will talk about is the individual all-around. As we have discussed, Simone is going to dominate most, if not all, events and thus will easily win the gold medal. Across the events, her moves have a high level of difficulty and she is usually able to perform them with great execution, which is why she is the unquestioned favorite to win the gold medal for the individual all-around competition.
Simone has embraced the GOAT tag that the world has put on her as she has been seen wearing a goat outfit while practicing and also while competing in certain tournaments. She seems to understand the expectations the world has put on her, and by no means is she running from the pressure. She is expected to dominate the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but pressure can get the best of even the greatest athletes. I expect for her to win at least 4 gold medals, but would definitely not be surprised if she comes out of the Olympics with 5 or more total medals, most of which should be gold (if she can bounce back on the uneven bars).
Top Picture by Getty Images.