“I’ll Forever Be Thankful” – Here’s How a Japanese Gym Helped Simone Biles Win a Bronze Medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/05/2021, 5:30 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Men’s Rings – Medal Ceremony – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – August 2, 2021. Simone Biles of the United States wearing a protective face mask looks on REUTERS/Mike Blake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY


Although Simone Biles endured a tough time in the Tokyo Olympics, she finished her outing on a solid note. While the 24-year-old withdrew from three individual finals, she took part in the balance beam final on Tuesday, August 3.

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After the final, Biles thanked a secret gym for allowing her to use their facility to regain her skills prior to the final.

Simone Biles thanks Juntendo University for providing her a facility to regain confidence

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During the team final last week, Biles suffered the “twisties” in her performance on the vault. Attempting a difficult maneuver, she lost awareness mid-air but avoided serious injuries on her landing. Although she withdrew from the rest of the event, Team USA pulled through to clinch silver.

In the coming days, Biles cited mental health issues and withdrew from the individual all-around final, vault final, and floor exercise final. During those days, the 24-year-old trained in a gym at Juntendo University, around an hour away from the competition venue.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Women’s Team – Final – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – July 27, 2021. Simone Biles of the United States during the Women’s Team Final REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

A few hours after the team final, Team USA contacted Juntendo University to arrange for a practice setup. Biles spent two hours in the gym once the setup was complete, and returned to the venue for three more days of practice.

During her practice, the university locked the entrances to the gym so that no one would know she was at the venue. After the balance beam final, the 24-year-old thanked the university on Twitter for giving her the facility to regain her confidence.

She tweetedI’ll forever be thankful for Junetendo for allowing me to come train separately to try to get my skills back. The Japanese are some of, if not the sweetest people I’ve ever met.”

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Biles left Tokyo with two medals

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Although she withdrew from various finals, fans breathed a sigh of relief when she announced her participation in the balance beam final. With the eyes of the world on her, she delivered a score of 14.000 to secure bronze.

China took top honors in the event as 16-year-old Chenchen Guan clinched gold. Tang Xijing took silver, scoring just 0.233 points more than Biles.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Women’s Beam – Medal Ceremony – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – August 3, 2021. Gold medallist Guan Chenchen of China, silver medallist Tang Xijing of China and bronze medallist Simone Biles of the United States pose with medals. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Despite a rough start to her Olympics, Biles ended with two medals to make her a seven-time Olympic medalist. However, fans will hope she adds to that tally in three years’ time at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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WATCH STORY: Tokyo Olympics 2020: Day Eleven Medal Tally Update – China and USA Lead

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Sanket Nair

621 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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