Star Gymnast Simone Biles Set to Return to Competition

On Wednesday, USA Gymnastics announced that seven-time Olympic medalist and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics champion Simone Biles would participate in her first competition in two years at the US Classic in August.

Star Gymnast Simone Biles Set to Return to Competition
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Facts

  • On Wednesday, USA Gymnastics announced that seven-time Olympic medalist and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics champion Simone Biles would participate in her first competition in two years at the US Classic in August.1
  • After removing herself from multiple events and taking time off to focus on her mental health, she will compete in the women's field for the single-day event on Aug. 5 at Now Arena in Hoffman Estates near Chicago.2
  • Though it's unknown whether she's aiming for a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics, the US Classic is a qualifier for Nationals, which, alongside the Olympic Trials, are how Olympic athletes are selected. She will compete against Jade Carey, Skye Blakely, Jordan Chiles, and Leanne Wong.3
  • Since the 2020 Olympics, during which she dropped out after enduring the "twisties" — where gymnasts lose spatial awareness while conducting complicated jumps — she has spoken out on mental health and the alleged sexual abuse she endured at the hands of sports doctor Larry Nassar. She also has since married NFL player Jonathan Owens.1
  • Alongside Shannon Miller, the 26-year-old has the most Olympic medals won by an American gymnast. She's also the most decorated gymnast in the history of the Gymnastics World Championships, with 25 medals.3
  • Another gymnast who took a break and returned was Nastia Liukin, who left after the 2009 US Championships before returning for an Olympic run in 2012 but didn't qualify. The last US gymnast to make three Olympic teams was Dominique Dawes in 2000.4

Sources: 1Al Jazeera, 2The Telegraph, 3Forbes, and 4NBC.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by Sporting News. Even despite having to drop out of the Tokyo Games due to physical and mental health reasons, Simone Biles is the greatest Gymnast in history. She has shown bravery on and off the mat, and this latest comeback will only further solidify her legendary status in the history books.
  • Narrative B, as provided by Federalist. Despite claims to the contrary, Biles — by her own admission — dropped out of the Tokyo Olympics to "work on [her] mindfulness." Biles is a brilliant gymnast, no doubt, but to celebrate her as the GOAT disregards the fact that she left her teammates high and dry when they needed her most.

Predictions