American gymnast Simone Biles broke the record for the most world medals earned by a gymnast, male or female, in winning the 25th of her career on Sunday in Germany at the World Gymnastics Championships.
Over the weekend, Biles won her 24th gold medal on the balance beam. But that wasn’t the end of her Sunday. After a short break, she returned for the floor exercise. Biles landed a triple-twisting, double somersault. She is the only athlete ever to have successfully landed it in competition. That earned her the 25th gold of her career — so far.
Biles broke Belarusan Vitaly Scherbo’s 1996 record of 23 world medals.
Biles is only 22 years old, but this was probably her last world championships, according to the Washington Post.
“I just couldn’t breathe, honestly,” Biles said after her routine. “I just couldn’t move; I was so tired. [I felt like], ‘I’m going to stay here because if I come back up, I’m literally going to be breathing like a dog!’”
Because Biles was the first person to successfully land a double-twisting, double-somersault dismount on beam and a triple-twisting double somersault in her floor routine, both of them are named after her in gymnastics’ official Code of Points. They will forever be known as the Biles dismount on beam and the Biles II on floor, according to the Post.
“When you had so much success in the sport, what brings you back in the gym is something original — some different stuff,” Biles’s coach, Laurent Landi, told the Post. “It’s not just winning … It’s much better to come with a purpose [such as] putting your name in the Code of Points or trying a different skill that nobody else ever did before.”
But Biles is known as more than an incredible gymnast. She also went public in January 2018 as a survivor of sexual abuse from former national team doctor Larry Nassar. Biles has also fearlessly criticized USA Gymnastics for its failure to protect gymnasts against Nasser.