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For Biles, it finally all becomes too much

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29.07.2021

Finally, it all became too much. Simone Biles felt it hours before she took the floor in Tokyo, a nervousness she couldn't explain as she waited to deliver what everyone except her was sure would be a gold medal for the U.S. women's gymnastics team.

"I was just like shaking, could barely nap," Biles said. "I've never felt like this going into a competition before."

Five years ago, she came through for her country with a haul of four golds and a silver in Rio. But this night in Japan - with the official coronation of her Olympic greatness at stake - proved one bridge too far, even for the gymnast considered by many to be the greatest ever.

Not only was Biles supposed to lead her team to gold, but to jumpstart an Olympics that is being largely ignored at home. She was facing the pressure of Olympic history while also being tasked with bringing eyeballs to primetime Tuesday night TV to help salvage the billion dollars or so that NBC spent to land the games.

That she failed before she even started was as stunning as it was dispiriting. She had no injury and offered no other excuses before withdrawing after a poor vault in the first........

© Japan Today


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