(ANTWERP, Belgium) — The Women’s National Gymnastics Team, led by Simone Biles, has cemented a spot in sports history with its seventh consecutive world championship title.
The 26-year-old Biles, who made her return to elite gymnastics just two months ago, helped carry Team USA to a record-breaking gold medal at the world championships in Antwerp, Belgium on Wednesday.
Biles sealed the deal with a floor routine in the final rotation which earned the highest score of the day and solidified the team’s victory by more than two points over Brazil.
This win adds to Biles’ status as the most decorated female gymnast in history, with 33 combined medals now.
Breakout star Leanne Wong, 20, stepped up at a moment’s notice to compete in Joscelyn Roberson’s place in both vault and floor routine after Roberson injured her ankle during warmups, forcing her out of the competition.
“We had an incredible night. I’m just so proud of this team,” Wong told ABC News’ Good Morning America Thursday morning from Belgium. “I know it wasn’t easy, but we fought through every event, every skill and every routine — winning the seven straight gold medal is pretty impressive.”
Despite Roberson’s uncharacteristic fall on the vault, the Tokyo Olympics alternate gymnast helped keep the winning streak alive for the U.S.
Wong said the day she was tapped to fill in for Roberson was “full of so many emotions,” from “feeling sad, stressed, disappointed, excited, happy and proud.”
“We weren’t sure if it was a short landing. But I had to switch my line set and do two additional routines,” she explained. “When she landed, my teammates were like, ‘take off your [warmup] clothes.’ I had to get up, get ready and warm up my vaults to get ready to compete.”
Being alongside teammate and living gymnastics legend Biles was also an amazing feeling for the University of Florida gymnast.
“I can’t believe she won her first world all-around here in Belgium 10 years ago,” Wong said. “I was just so happy to see her do so well on that competition floor and win another gold medal for Team USA — the way she handles the pressure is so incredible.”
Balance is one of Wong’s incredible attributes outside the gym as well, juggling her studies as a pre-med student and launching an eponymous boutique out of her dorm room in 2021.
“It’s definitely a lot to balance between school, college gymnastics, world gymnastics, competing for Team USA and keeping up with my studies,” she said. “My professors have been very helpful with me and my schedule, and they have even sent me some good luck videos and e-mails and messages.”
Wong explained that while “school and gymnastics are definitely the priorities, after that I love to manage my business and website — of all my signature handmade bows. I’m excited how my business has flourished.”
Wong says she has sold over 10,000 bows to date, with help from her mom, family and other supporters for her side hustle.
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