Simone Biles became the gymnast with the most medals ever earned at the world championships with her victory in the balance beam competition on Sunday, continuing her record-breaking week at the World Gymnastics Championship in Stuttgart, Germany.
Biles entered the competition Saturday with 22 medals, just one short of matching the record, with four events left. The record was held by Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus, who earned 23 medals in the 1990s.
Sherbo earned his medals over the course of six years. Biles has done it in just five. Men also have the chance to earn medals in six apparatus finals, whereas women only compete in four.
Biles earned gold on vault — her favorite — Saturday morning to bring her medal count to 23. Shortly after, she competed on uneven bars but placed fifth, out of medal contention. She had the highest qualifying scores in both balance beam and floor exercise leading into Sunday.
Biles finally earned her 24th medal on the balance beam Sunday morning, delivering a nearly flawless performance with a score of 15.066.
Last Saturday, Biles landed two new skills that had never been performed in competition. Both are expected to be named after her, bringing her total number of signature moves to four.
On Thursday, Biles gymnast captured her fifth all-around world title. She scored 58.999 points, beating China’s Tang Xijing by a whopping 2.1 points — her largest-ever margin of victory at the world championships.
“Every year it feels better and better just because we’re adding to the legacy,” Biles said. “I feel like I never think of records. I just go out there and do what I came to do, which is compete for the country.”