Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history, is set to make her return to elite competition after a two-year break. Competing in the U.S. Classic, Biles’ performance could signal her comeback to the top of the sport. Despite doubts and high expectations, Biles’ Friday warmup session showed her champion’s resolve. Her appearance on Saturday is highly anticipated, with many considering her the greatest of all time. Biles’ teammate, Sunisa Lee, is also returning to competition after a post-Tokyo hiatus. The U.S. Classic will be televised and streamed live. Dennis Romero,The Associated Press reported
During her routine on the uneven bars at the U.S. Classic on Saturday, Simone Biles will spend most of her time in the air, rotating, or extending her body, without both feet planted on the ground. This performance marks her return to elite competition after a two-year hiatus. As the most decorated gymnast in history, with an impressive collection of 32 Olympic and world medals, Biles’ participation in the event in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, has generated much anticipation. Her calm demeanor during Friday’s warm-up session demonstrated her champion mindset and resilience in the face of high expectations and doubts. Biles’ comeback is seen as an inspiration by her fellow gymnasts, such as Jade Carey, who expressed admiration for the way she has overcome adversity. While the U.S. Classic won’t definitively determine Biles’ participation in the 2024 Paris Olympics, it could signal her return to the top level of gymnastics as she works toward the U.S. Championships later this month.
NBC Sports analyst and former Olympian John Roethlisberger spoke highly of Biles, acknowledging her status as arguably the greatest gymnast of all time. He emphasized the positive impact her return has on the sport, regardless of personal opinions about her. Biles’ teammate, Sunisa Lee, the reigning Olympic all-around champion, is also making her comeback at the U.S. Classic following a break from international competition since the Tokyo Games. Lee praised Biles’ skills and dedication, noting that it appeared as if she hadn’t taken any time off. Biles intentionally took time off after her challenging Olympics experience, where she withdrew from several events to prioritize her mental health. Shortly afterward, she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her abuse by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, and also advocated for mental health awareness among athletes. Biles’ commitment to self-care and her willingness to prioritize her well-being over gymnastics further exemplify her strength and resilience.
In May, Biles celebrated her civil ceremony with NFL star Jonathan Owens in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and has kept herself in shape during her time away from competition. Her coach, Cecile Landi, shared that Biles expressed her desire to make a comeback during a dinner earlier this year. Biles seems to have overcome the challenging mental block known as the “twisties” that affected her performance at the Olympics, which caused her to lose track of her body positioning mid-air. She assured her followers on Instagram that she had overcome this issue and was back to twisting confidently. The U.S. Classic, which will be broadcasted and streamed live, presents an opportunity for Biles to showcase her skills and potentially pave the way for her participation in future competitions, including the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The article was contributed by Dennis Romero, a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital, with additional material from The Associated Press..