Simone Biles returning to competition two years after Tokyo Olympics

Simone Biles returning to competition two years after Tokyo Olympics

Simone Biles is giving it another go.

Biles will compete for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics at the U.S. Classic in early August. The meet is a qualifier for the U.S. championships, which means the 2016 Olympic all-around champion will presumably compete there, as well. It comes roughly a year before the Paris Olympics.



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Reigning Olympic champion Sunisa Lee is also in the field for the Classic, which is Aug. 4-5 in suburban Chicago.

Biles’ comeback has been rumored for months now, with other gymnasts making reference to her being in the gym and Biles occasionally appearing in the background of others peoples’ photos. But neither Biles nor anyone in her camp had confirmed it before Wednesday’s announcement of the Classic field.A call to Biles’ agent was not immediately returned.



Simone Biles on Twitter: "exhausted" / Twitter




Biles is considered the greatest gymnast of all time, a four-time Olympic gold medalist who can do skills other gymnasts won’t even try in training. She has two skills named after her on both vault and floor exercise, and one on balance beam. She has won every all-around competition she’s been in dating back to the 2014 U.S. championships, often by significant margins.But rising anxiety manifested itself in the “twisties” in Tokyo, causing her to lose her sense of where she was in the air. Aside from being psychologically terrifying — “literally cannot tell up from down,” Biles said at one point during those Games — it was also physically dangerous because she could just as easily have landed on her head as her feet.


Biles withdrew one event into the team competition, where the U.S. women went on to win the silver medal. She then withdrew from the all-around, vault, floor exercise and uneven bars finals. She returned for the balance beam final after reworking her routine to remove the elements that required her to twist, and won a bronze medal.Once revered for her success — she is the most-decorated gymnast, male or female, at the world championships with 25 medals — Biles became a hero to many for championing her mental health and shining a spotlight on the intense stress many athletes experience. She has made a point to prioritize mental health in her appearances since Tokyo, and many athletes have credited her with giving them permission to be open about their own struggles.


Biles had not closed the door on returning to gymnastics, but the 26-year-old has also built a life outside the sport. She and Green Bay Packers safety Jonathan Owens got married in April and are building their “dream house.” She has a clothing line with Athleta and a leotard collection with GK Elite.


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