Ohio can smile for Simone Biles
United States' Simone Biles performs on the floor during the artistic gymnastics women's apparatus final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) –This is turning out to be quite a year for Northeast Ohio. First the Cavs won their first NBA title in June. The Indians are rolling toward an American league Central title and The Simone Show went out in style. And gold. Again.
The Columbus Ohio born Simone Biles put the finishing touches on one of the greatest Olympics by a gymnast, capturing her fourth gold of the games with an electric performance in the floor exercise on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old American completed an extraordinary stretch that included a team gold for the "Final Five" as well as individual golds in the all-around and vault and bronze on balance beam. Her five medals tie the most for an American female gymnast in a single Olympics and her four golds tie an Olympic record shared by four others.
"It's been a long journey," Biles said. "I've enjoyed every single moment of it. I know our team has. It's been very long in competing so many times. It got tiring. But we just wanted to end on a good note."
Biles embraced her longtime coach shortly after her routine - which includes a tumbling pass named in her honor and a Brazilian-themed segment intended to play to the crowd in Rio - and beamed when her score of 15.966 was posted.
The medals gave the American women nine during the meet, the most ever by the U.S. at an Olympics.
While she admitted she was a bit tired on Monday after her only one real mistake of the games - a wobbly landing on beam that cost her a shot at gold - Biles didn't look it during her signature event.
Buoyant in a glittery red, white and blue leotard, Biles spent 90 seconds showcasing her talent. She doesn't tumble so much as fly, her 4-foot-8 frame soaring over the white mat as if she was trying to touch the video board three stories above. She plans to take a break following the closing ceremonies and try to adjust to a life that will never be the same after nine days that elevated her from gymnastics' best-kept secret to star.