Simone Biles Calls Worlds ‘Unexpected’ After Becoming the Most Decorated Gymnast of All Time

Simone Biles just keeps breaking records. The 26-year-old was misty-eyed as she received her 27th world all-around medal at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, making her the most decorated gymnast in history.

“You guys are actually never going to believe me, but I’ve had something in my eye for like four hours today that I could not get out,” Biles told the Associated Press on Friday, October 6, after becoming the first female gymnast to win six all-around world titles. “So whenever I was staring at the podium, if I look up, it really hits my eye.”

She admitted, however, that it felt like a big moment. “Ten years ago, I won my first worlds. Now we’re back here. So, it was emotional,” Biles said. “It means everything to me, the fight, everything that I’ve put in to get back to this place, feel comfortable and confident enough to compete.”

Biles passed Soviet Union gymnast Larisa Latynina (who retired in 1966) when she picked up her all-around gold medal on Friday night.

Related: Simone Biles Through the Years: From Gymnastics GOAT to Blushing Bride

Simone Biles is small in stature — just 4-foot-8 — but her reputation looms large. The Texas native started taking gymnastics classes at age 6 and and earned an invite to the junior national team camp by 14. She had several world championship gold medals before she made her Olympics debut in Rio de Janeiro […]

“Team finals 🤍 it was an interesting & unexpected night! I’m so proud of the fight Team USA put out 🇺🇸,” Biles shared via Instagram on Saturday, October 7. “It’s such a blessing to represent the US at another World Championships!”

Jonathan Owens, who Biles married in April, gushed over his wife’s success. “SO PROUD 🔥❤️ Love being able to watch you do your thing 🤞🏽,” the Green Bay Packers player commented via Instagram.

The Olympian scored her 28th world medal one day later, winning silver on vault. She lost gold due to over-rotating and falling on her back when she tried to stick the landing. Prior to the fall, Biles knowingly took a half-point deduction for having her coach on the mat with her as a safety precaution. (The vault is where Biles got the “twisties” at the Tokyo Olympics in 2022, forcing her to withdraw from several events.)

Simone Biles Calls Worlds ‘Unexpected’ After Becoming the Most Decorated Gymnast of All Time
Simone Biles celebrates on the podium after the Women’s Vault Final during the 52nd FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships on October 7, 2023.LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images

The silver brings Biles up to 35 world championship and Olympic medals — and that number is likely to grow before the weekend is over. Though Biles placed fifth in uneven bars (her weakest even), experts expect her to excel in both the beam and floor finals on Sunday, October 8.

Related: Newlyweds Simone Biles and Jonathan Owens’ Relationship Timeline

Simone Biles and Jonathan Owens are a match made in world-class athlete heaven. The Olympic gold medalist and the NFL player, who was then a Houston Texans safety, met via the dating app Raya in March 2020. “I didn’t know who she was,” Owens told Texas Monthly in June 2021. “I just hadn’t heard of […]

Worlds is one of many stops on the road to the Olympics. However, Biles made it clear in August that she isn’t talking about the Olympics just yet.

“I’m in a really good spot, and who knows? I’m not gonna think so far ahead,” she told reporters in August after the U.S. Classic. “I know everybody is just like — when you get married, they ask when you’re having a baby. You come to Classics, they’re asking you about the Olympics. I think we’re just trying to take it one step at a time and we’ll see.”

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