After a hiatus of two years, seven-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles is making her return to competitive gymnastics. She is set to compete in the U.S. Classic, taking place at NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Biles, who holds an impressive record of 32 Olympic and world medals, is considered one of the most decorated gymnasts in the history of the sport.
During her warm-up session on Friday, Biles displayed her champion’s composure, facing the pressure of high expectations and doubts. There were discussions in 2021 about the possibility of Biles’ Olympic career coming to an end, but her decision to return to the sport is seen as inspiring and impressive by her fellow gymnasts, such as Jade Carey and Sunisa Lee.
The U.S. Classic is seen as an important step for Biles as she aims to reestablish herself in elite gymnastics. While it won’t conclusively determine her readiness for the 2024 Paris Olympics, it is a significant milestone on her journey towards the U.S. Championships later this month in San Jose, California.
John Roethlisberger, a three-time Olympian and NBC Sports analyst, acknowledges Biles as the greatest gymnast of all time, regardless of personal opinions about her. The return of both Biles and her teammate Sunisa Lee, the reigning Olympic all-around champion, is highly anticipated and celebrated in the gymnastics community.
At the Tokyo Olympics, Biles made headlines when she withdrew from several team and individual events to prioritize her mental health. Despite the challenges, she still managed to secure a bronze medal in the balance beam event. After the intense experience in Tokyo, Biles intentionally took a break to focus on her well-being before making her comeback.
The return of such an iconic athlete as Simone Biles is seen as a boost for the sport of gymnastics, and her presence at the U.S. Classic is generating excitement and anticipation among fans and fellow athletes alike.