Simone Biles, a celebrated gymnast with a total of 32 medals from the Olympics and World Championships, is gearing up for a return to competitive gymnastics.
The four-time Olympic gold medallist is scheduled to compete in the 2023 US Classic this coming August, marking her first competitive event since the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
Biles, 26, has been on a break from gymnastics since the Tokyo event, prioritizing her mental health. Amid safety and mental health concerns, she stepped back from five of her six finals in Tokyo. It remains uncertain whether she will participate in the forthcoming Paris Olympics next year.
The US Classic event, which takes place from August 4-5, serves as a preparatory competition leading up to the national championships. However, USA Gymnastics has clarified that “Registration… does not guarantee participation.”
Biles first emerged on the Olympic scene during the Rio 2016 Games, securing four Olympic titles and a bronze medal. She took a break in 2017 but returned to win an additional nine world titles in 2018 and 2019. She was a favorite to secure more golds at Tokyo 2020, which was postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
But Biles faced a challenging moment in Tokyo when she withdrew from the Olympic women’s team final after her vault, subsequently withdrawing from five of her six finals. She explained later that she experienced the ‘twisties,’ a perilous mental condition where gymnasts lose their sense of direction while in the air. Despite this setback, she returned for the balance beam event and earned a bronze medal.
Post-Tokyo, Biles announced she was taking a step back from gymnastics, clarifying that she was not retiring. Over the years, she has spoken openly about the abuse she endured from team doctor Larry Nassar, who is currently serving a life sentence in prison.
Biles’s illustrious career was recognized in 2021 when she was awarded the Sport Newes Centers Personality of the Year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She also received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Joe Biden.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Simone Biles Return
When is Simone Biles expected to return to competitive gymnastics?
Simone Biles is expected to return to competitive gymnastics at the 2023 US Classic event in August.
Why did Simone Biles withdraw from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
Simone Biles withdrew from five of her six finals at the Tokyo Olympics due to concerns regarding her mental health and safety.
What is the significance of the US Classic in Simone Biles’ comeback?
The US Classic, which will take place from August 4-5, serves as a preparatory competition leading up to the national championships and will be Biles’ first competitive event since the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
What are the ‘twisties’ that Simone Biles mentioned?
‘Twisties’ refer to a dangerous mental block where gymnasts lose their sense of direction while in the air, a condition Biles experienced during the Tokyo Olympics.
Has Simone Biles retired from gymnastics?
No, Simone Biles announced that she was stepping back from gymnastics following the Tokyo Olympics, but she has not retired.
What awards has Simone Biles received?
Simone Biles received the Sport Newes Centers Personality of the Year’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021 and the US Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Joe Biden.