US gymnast Simone Biles bounded her way to the gold in the women’s all-around finals on Thursday (Aug.11). This marks the second Olympics in a row that an African-American woman has taken the accolade.
The win was an emotional one for the 19-year-old, who was touted as one of the best gymnasts alive heading into the Rio games. She won the all-around gold with four almost flawless routines on the vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise. She is the second African-American woman to do so. Gabby Douglas, her teammate, was the first in 2012.
Teammate Aly Raisman won the silver medal in the competition.
With Douglas’ and now Biles’s achievements, woman of color are emerging as powerhouses in a sport that has been historically dominated by Eastern Europeans. The two Olympians are inspiring more young women of color to pursue the sport, just as the black gymnasts of the past decade inspired them.
Biles’ virtuoso routines and awe-inspiring athleticism make her the embodiment of black girl magic. The internet couldn’t be prouder.
Today’s win puts Simone Biles one step closer to taking home a record five gold medals. The only other woman to win more than four gold medals in a single Olympics is German swimmer Kristin Otto. Biles will go for her first apparatus gold medal on the vault on Sunday, Aug. 14.