For the first time since 2010, Simone Biles and the women of U.S. Gymnastics have found themselves in an unfamiliar position: 2nd place.
The Russian Olympic Committee team beat the Americans in qualifying Sunday, as they posted a top score of 171.629, more than a full point ahead of the U.S. total of 170.562.
While gymnastics legend Biles crushed the all-around and teammate Sunisa Lee came in second, the Americans watched as another team soared to the top of the standings.
The U.S. women who came to Tokyo are heavily favored to win their third consecutive Olympic gold, but a series of mistakes left those watching scratching their heads.
A star. Literally. ⭐️ #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/qe8xvlJpeI— Team USA (@TeamUSA) July 25, 2021
A star. Literally. ⭐️ #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/qe8xvlJpeI
Even the G.O.A.T herself made a rare error during her first competition in Tokyo. During the floor exercise at the gymnastics qualification event, Biles stepped out of bounds for a major deduction.
Her teammate Jordan Chiles, a model of consistency for most of the year, finished 40th in the all-around after falling twice on the balance beam — once during her routine and again on her dismount.
USA Gymnastics has long been one of the biggest-named teams at the Olympic Games, but this year it may not be so easy for the gymnastics powerhouse.
Scoring starts over in Tuesday’s team finals, but another performance like the qualifier could leave the door open for one of the biggest upsets at this year’s Olympics.