Standing 4 feet above the ground, 5 meters long, and just 4 inches wide, the balance beam is arguably the most unforgiving surface in sports. On Monday, Simone Biles walked into the Rio Olympic Arena, hoping to win an Olympic gold medal in the event.
Unfortunately, halfway through her routine, the three time world champ lost her balance and placed both her hands on the beam to stop herself from falling. The packed arena gasped in unison, but only one thought ran through the 19-year-old's mind, ""Wow, Simone, that's five-tenths," she told NBC.
In that moment, Biles knew that she wasn't going home with five Olympic golds—something no gymnast has ever done—and she was totally, one hundred percent okay with it. Even after messing up, Biles still managed to steal a bronze medal, behind her teammate Laurie Hernandez who won silver and Netherlands' Sanne Wevers who took gold.
"I'm not disappointed in the medal that I received because anyone would love to have a bronze at an Olympics Games," Biles said. "But I'm disappointed in the routine that I did and not so much the whole entire routine, just the front tuck I guess. Because the rest of the routine was pretty good."
The truth is, Biles's dream of five Olympic golds wasn't actually her dream at all—but rather a goal projected by others. "I think you guys want it more than I do," Biles professed. "I just want to perform the routines that I practice."
1st olympics - 4th olympic medal (3 gold & 1 bronze) yall aight out there ? bc I'm more than happy! Floor finals tomorrow, so excited
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) August 15, 2016
Despite all the pressure, Biles's fans have nothing but love for her and continue to show their support through social media.
— Simply My Life (@simplymylife132) August 16, 2016
— Aimee B (@Salto_Coach) August 15, 2016
There is no denying that Biles has had an exceptional time in Rio. Yesterday she won gold in the floor exercise final, making her the most decorated Olympic gymnast of all time. Other people's expectations shouldn't take away from that.