The women’s national gymnastics team, led by Simone Biles, has cemented its place in the sport’s history with its seventh consecutive world championship title.
The 26-year-old Biles, who returned to elite gymnastics just two months ago, helped lead Team USA to a record gold medal at the world championships in Antwerp, Belgium, on Wednesday.
Biles sealed the deal with a ground move in the final round that earned the highest score of the day and powered the team’s victory by more than two points over Brazil.
This win adds to Biles’ status as the most decorated gymnast in history, with a total of 33 medals now.
Breakout star Leanne Wong, 20, stepped up at any moment to compete in Jocelyn Roberson’s place in both the vault and floor routines after Roberson injured her ankle during warm-ups, forcing her out of the competition.
“We had a great night. I’m very proud of this team,” Wong told “Good Morning America” Thursday morning from Belgium. “I know it wasn’t easy, but we fought through every event, every skill and every routine, and to win seven gold medals in a row is impressive.”
Despite Roberson’s unusual fall on vault, the alternate gymnast at the Tokyo Olympics helped keep the USA’s winning streak alive.
Wong said the day she was selected for Roberson’s position was “filled with a lot of emotions” from “feeling sad, nervous, disappointed, excited, happy and proud.”
“We weren’t sure if it was a short landing or not. But I had to change my line set and do two more runs,” she explained. “When I landed, my teammates said, ‘Take your clothes off.’” [warmup] clothes.’ “I had to get up and get ready and warm up my lockers to get ready to compete.”
Being alongside teammate and living gymnastics legend Biles was also a great feeling for the University of Florida gymnast.
“I can’t believe she won her first world championship here in Belgium 10 years ago,” Wong said. “I was so happy to see her perform so well on the competition floor and win another gold medal for Team USA – the way she handles pressure is just amazing.”
Balance is one of Wong’s amazing attributes outside of the gym, too, as she juggles her studies as a pre-med student and launching an eponymous boutique out of her bedroom in 2021.
“It’s definitely a lot of balance between school, college gymnastics, world gymnastics, competing on Team USA and keeping up with my studies,” she said. “My teachers have been very helpful with me and my schedule, and have sent me some good luck videos, emails, and messages.”
Although “school and gymnastics are definitely priorities, after that I love running my business and my website – among all the unique handmade bows. I’m excited about how my business is thriving,” Wong explained.
Wong says she has sold more than 10,000 bows so far, with the help of her mother, family and other supporters.
“Beer enthusiast. Subtly charming alcohol junkie. Wannabe internet buff. Typical pop culture lover.”