Mary Lou Retton, the 1984 Olympic gold medallist, calls Biles the “most talented gymnast I’ve seen in my life.”Biles paused at one end of the beam.
Biles started homeschooling when she was thirteen, and graduated from high school last year, which means that she has been able to devote the past year to training for the Olympics, and to maintaining a hundred-and-forty-day streak of exchanging Snapchats with her non-boyfriend.
“It comes down to this,” Al Trautwig, the NBC commentator, said. Biles was one of the last medal contenders to compete, but she was so far ahead in the competition that anything short of catastrophe would earn her gold.
Since the world last paid attention to gymnastics, at the 2012 Olympics, Biles has become the first female gymnast to win three straight World Championships.
Karolyi seemed to make a brief attempt at finding a teachable moment before simply pulling Biles into her chest.
“That was spectacular,” Tim Daggett, the 1984 Olympic gold medallist and commentator, said.