Laurie Hernandez Beats World’s Greatest Simone Biles on Balance Beam, Wins a Silver Medal

Lead Photo: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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After winning gold with the Final Five, Laurie Hernandez now has an individual silver medal to pair it with after today’s balance beam individual final. Simone Biles cracked the door open for Hernandez to challenge for gold when she made an error in her routine. Because she’s unstoppable, Biles – who touched the beam with her hand as she fought off a fall – still earned a bronze despite the slip-up.

Hernandez qualified for the event in first place in the division of everyone who isn’t a superhuman like Biles (so second place). And in both her balance beam performances in Rio she outperformed the 14.733 Biles received in the event final. Her remarkable consistency throughout the Olympics continued as she earned basically the same score that was good enough to best everyone but Biles in qualifying. Unfortunately, Sanne Wevers from the Netherlands stepped up with a 15.433 to earn a gold.

Our admittedly biased and unsophisticated eyes obviously saw it differently, but so did Team USA. The coaches submitted an inquiry on Laurie’s behalf to make sure judges properly credited all of the routine’s elements. The same challenge took place during qualifying after Laurie’s floor performance. Unfortunately, the result was the same both times: Rejected.

Obviously, since she just recently started competing at senior level, it’s her first individual Olympic medal. Many of her fans seemed upset when she couldn’t compete in the individual all-around. But Laurie made the most of her trip to Rio with two medals. Although Hernandez bested Biles on this occasion, there’s obviously nothing but love between the two as they go way back. No one seemed happier after Hernandez’s routine than Biles.

Her only job left in Rio is to be cheer on Aly Raisman and Simone Biles against some other girls who will definitely not win in the floor exercise final.