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Biles chosen to carry U.S. flag at closing ceremony

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 8/20/2016 by Rachel Axon, USA TODAY Sports

Biles chosen to carry U.S. flag at closing ceremony © Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports Biles chosen to carry U.S. flag at closing ceremony RIO DE JANEIRO – As if winning five Olympic medals and meeting Zac Efron didn’t do enough to make a memorable Games for Simone Biles, she adds one more experience to her time in Rio.

Biles was chosen as the Team USA flag bearer for closing ceremony on Sunday, capping off a whirlwind two weeks that have seen the gymnast become one of the most successful athletes in these Games.

"It's an incredible honor to be selected as the flag bearer by my Team USA teammates,” Biles said in a statement. “This experience has been the dream of a lifetime for me and my team and I consider it a privilege to represent my country, the United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics by carrying our flag. I also wish to thank the city of Rio de Janeiro, and the entire country of Brazil, for hosting an incredible Games.”

Biles is only the second American gymnast to carry the flag in an opening or closing ceremony after Alfred Jochim in 1936.

Though it was largely expected given her dominance in the sport over the past three years, Biles’ competition here was a resounding success.

She led the Americans to a second consecutive team gold medal by an eye-popping eight points before winning the all-around title, gold medals on vault and floor exercise and bronze on balance beam.

Her five medals matches marks set by Nastia Liukin in 2008, Shannon Miller in 1992 and Mary Lou Retton in 1984.

Her success here only added to the consensus that she’s the best gymnast of her time and probably the best ever. None other than Bela and Martha Karolyi, Retton and Aimee Boorman, Biles’ longtime coach, think the case is clear.

Biles, 19, entered these Games as the three-time defending world all-around champion. Her 10 gold medals earned over that span is a record for any gymnast, and she has 14 total medals from world championship competition.

After Biles completed competition on Tuesday, she met Efron, her celebrity crush, whom NBC asked to come to Rio to meet her.

Once the Games end on Sunday, Biles and the Final Five are headed to New York for a media tour before embarking on a 36-city Kellogg’s Tour.

PHOTOS: GYMNASTICS AT THE RIO OLYMPICS

Simone Biles (USA) competes during to the women's floor exercise final in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Rio Olympic Arena. Gymnastics at the Rio Olympics

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