Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas make history look easy at Worlds

Nov 2, 2015 at 9:34 AM
Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas make history look easy at Worlds

From USA Today - By Nancy Armour - Photo By Ian MacNicol

GLASGOW, Scotland — It’s not enough for the U.S. women to set the gold standard in gymnastics.

At the rate they’re piling up the bling, their collection is going to rival that of a royal family by the end of next summer's Rio Olympics.

Simone Biles became the first woman to win three consecutive titles at the world championships Thursday. One step below her on the podium was Gabby Douglas, the first reigning Olympic champ to win a world medal since way back in 1981.

"It’s such an honor, especially coming from the United States," said Biles, who matched Svetlana Khorkina for total all-around titles. "We strive for greatness."

Safe to say they’ve got that covered.

The Americans, who two days earlier won their third consecutive team title, are so much better than the rest of the world that the best competition occurs back at the Karolyi Ranch, where the national team has monthly training camps. Get through those, and spots on the podium may as well be on reserve.

Biles is, of course, a huge part of that. The 18-year-old hasn’t lost a meet in 2½ years and is so dominant her teammates joke that gymnastics officials ought to create a division just for her. They’re not far wrong; even with mistakes on two events Thursday, she won by her largest margin yet.

But it’s the endless well of talent that keeps the Americans sharp. And makes for special scenes like the one where Douglas enveloped Biles in a hug when the final standings were posted, whispering congratulations in her ear.

"We’re done," Biles said when asked what they said to each other. "We’re finally done, and I love you so much and good job."


Also in