If the Olympic gymnastics trials in the United States have proven anything, it’s that the arena ceiling at the Tokyo Games had better be high. There will be quick flips and tornado-like twists that need as much air as possible.
Gymnasts will launch their most daring routines in an attempt to win a gold medal, and the margin for error will be narrow – even narrower than the 4 inch beam that many gymnasts already find precarious. A slip. An additional step on a landing. A case. Seemingly tiny mistakes could make the difference between qualifying for a final or winning a medal in each event.
Of course, Simone Biles has a much bigger cushion. Her routines are so complex and challenging that she can win even with big mistakes. She is the most decorated gymnast in the world, already with four Olympic gold medals and 25 world championship medals, and it’s a safe bet that she will have to make room for more. At 24, she could walk away from the Tokyo Games, possibly her last big event before retiring at the top of her sport, with five more gold medals.
The ultimate mic drop.