Just 24 hours before participating in the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Qatar on Saturday, Simone Biles was in the hospital. The Olympian had been in pain for two days before going to the emergency room, where she discovered that she had a kidney stone.
Despite her medical condition, the reigning Olympic champion secured the highest individual scores on vault, uneven bars, beam, and floors during the competition. Her performance essentially ensured that the US team will qualify for the finals with an impressive 12-point lead ahead of the second-place competitor, Japan, as reported by BuzzFeed.
Biles did all this with the kidney stone, which she nicknamed "the Doha Pearl," still in her system. "We had to go to the ER because I’ve been having stomach pains on my right side for two days," the 10-time world champion shared in a video posted online by USA Gymnastics. "We started to think it was my appendix, so we wanted to go as a precaution. We got tests done, and they found a kidney stone. I’m in a bit of pain [today], so adrenaline helps.”
As reported by ESPN, the 21-year-old couldn't be treated with the same pain medication typically given those dealing with kidney stones because it would put her in jeopardy of failing a drug test. Despite this, Biles gave a stellar performance, besting her teammate Morgan Hurd, who won the all-around at world championships last year. "She's Simone," U.S. high-performance coordinator Tom Forster told reporters. "You'd expect the same out of a Michael Jordan or a Tiger Woods, and that's who she is in our sport. And she showed it."