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Simone Biles becomes world’s most decorated gymnast with latest win

Simone Biles is now the world’s most decorated gymnast after a Friday victory.

The American star athlete took the title after winning her sixth individual all-around title at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, according to The Associated Press.

“Ten years ago, I won my first worlds. Now we’re back here. So it was emotional,” Biles said, per the AP. “It means everything to me, the fight, everything that I’ve put in to get back to this place, feel comfortable and confident enough to compete.”

Biles, 26, put a two-year hold on her career in the wake of the Tokyo Olympics for mental health reasons, according to the AP. The newly-earned world championship medal is Biles’ 27th.

The gymnast struggled during the Tokyo Olympics after experiencing a psychological phenomenon known in the sport as “the twisties,” according to the AP. While many thought she would take the title of individual all-around champion in Tokyo, she took herself out of the competition to focus on her mental health.

“I was so much more nervous for team finals because that’s when everything occurred (in Tokyo), so I was a little bit traumatized from that. So today I felt a little bit more relaxed,” Biles said following her Friday win. “So I’m happy that that’s over.”

She said therapy sessions, along with breathing and visualization exercises, have helped her with her mental health.

“Every day I try to think about it, especially in therapy when we talk about it,” Biles said, referring to her accomplishments, per the AP. “And I think that’s when all the emotions come up. And I really think about what I’ve done and what we’ve done to the sport and push that forward. So I think it’s really exciting. But all in all, I don’t think it will hit me until I retire and then look back and see everything I’ve done.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tags Antwerp belgium gymnastics simon biles Simone Biles Tokyo Olympics

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