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Simone Biles breaks record for world championship medals with golds in beam, floor

Simone Biles was all smiles the moment she found out she'd won gold on the balance beam and become the most decorated gymnast in world championship history. (Getty)

Simone Biles has said she’s “99 percent sure” that these World Gymnastics Championships will be her last one ever. And if that’s right, she’s going out as the most decorated gymnast in the history of the world championships.

Biles won her 24th and 25th World Championship medals on Sunday, breaking the record for total medals set in the 1990s by Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus. Scherbo has 23 career world championship medals, a mark that Biles tied on Saturday when she earned gold on vault. (She also competed in the uneven bars on Saturday, but didn’t medal.)

On Sunday, Biles competed in the individual apparatus finals on beam and floor, and wowed everyone just as you’d expect. She dazzled on beam, beating second-place finisher and reigning beam champion Liu Tingting of China by .633 points. And she made it look so easy.

When she officially came in first on the beam, she knew that she’d broken the medal record. Biles had the absolute best reaction when she found out.

Then on the floor, where she can fully display her immense power, she flew high and fast to the strains of “Big Spender” on her way to another gold medal. She even did one of her signature moves, the Biles II.

Biles now has 25 world championship medals, and 19 of them are gold. Adding that to her Olympic accomplishments, and the multiple elements she now has named after her, and it’s time to talk about Biles as one of the greatest athletes of all time. She’s accomplished everything possible in her sport, with her talent so prodigious that the sport had to adjust to make room for her greatness. And the 2020 Summer Olympics are still yet to come.

What Biles has accomplished in gymnastics is what Michael Phelps accomplished in swimming, and what Serena Williams accomplished (and is still accomplishing) in tennis. She’s one of the greatest athletes of all time, in any sport, and we’re lucky to be able to watch her as she wraps up her competitive career.

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