Simone Biles was in imperious form when she made a triumphant return to competitive gymnastics on Saturday night after two years to focus on her mental health.
The four-time Olympic gold medalist performed in front of a sold-out crowd at Hoffman Estates, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, taking the All-Around, Balance Beam and Floor Exercise titles at the US Classic.
The 26-year-old withdrew from the women’s team final at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after suffering twisties, a terrifying mental block that causes athletes to lose track of their position in the air.
She withdrew from four subsequent individual finals at the Games, before making a brief comeback on the balance beam to take bronze, but has not competed since and has spent the last two years away from the sport.
He later hinted that it was due in part to the sexual abuse he had suffered at the hands of pedophile doctor Larry Nassar.
Simone Biles was all smiles when she returned to competitive gymnastics on Saturday night.
The 26-year-old won the Balance Beam (pictured), as well as the All-Around and Floor titles.
There were a sold-out crowd to watch Biles’ triumphant return in Illinois.
Biles warms up ahead of his winning return to the sport, two years after his last competition
Biles is one of more than 150 gymnasts who were abused by Nassar, the former national team doctor, during her 30-year career, and in 2019 she revealed that the trauma of the assaults had left her struggling with suicidal thoughts.
At the time, he admitted that he was “sleeping all the time” because it was “the closest thing to death,” while also revealing that he was in therapy to deal with the abuse.
When she withdrew from the Olympic individual event, she retweeted a statement of support from former gymnast-turned-coach Andrea Orris, which read:
“We are talking about the same girl who was sexually abused by her team doctor throughout her childhood and adolescence.
The fans were out in force, with one holding a sign of the four-time Olympic gold medalist.
Biles is congratulated by her coach Laurent Landi (right) after competing on the uneven bars
Biles hugs her trainer Cecile Landi after competing on the balance beam at Hoffman Estates
Biles appeared in laser focus while competing on the uneven bars during her brilliant comeback.
“That girl has endured more trauma at the age of 24 than most people in their entire lives.”
Although Biles did not issue his own statement on Nassar or his decision to retire, a US official told DailyMail.com at the time that Orris’s message “encapsulates everything Simone feels and wants to say.”
On Saturday night, Biles made her first appearance since Tokyo in 2021, and her scores put her ahead of rivals Jordan Chiles, Katelyn Jong and Leanne Wong.
Biles scored a 14 on the uneven bars, a 14.8 on the balance beam, a 14.9 on the floor exercise and a 15.4 on the vault.
It was an incredible comeback for Biles, given that retirement seemed likely for the decorated gymnast, but she never withdrew from the anti-doping panel, leaving the door open for a comeback with the Paris Olympics on the horizon next year.
The anticipation for Biles’ return to competition has been building since he quietly entered the US Classic in June.
The US Classic is traditionally a tune-up event for the US National Championships in San Jose later this month.
The event itself is particularly special for Biles, given that in 2019 she landed a towering triple-twist double fold in a training session for the competition, a move no woman had done before.
The 26-year-old has been sharing regular life updates with his NFL husband, Jonathan Owens.
Biles has been enjoying life away from the mat, but will now return to competition in August.
It was first demonstrated by North Korean men’s gymnast Ri Jong-Song, who displayed it during a routine during the 2004 Athens Olympics, according to the United States Olympic Committee.
The impressive move involves doing two somersaults before going into three twists, all while staying in a tucked position.
Biles also used the Clasico as his comeback meeting in 2018 following a two-year hiatus following his record-breaking medal run in Rio de Janeiro.
It took two hours for him to prove he was still the gold standard in his sport, setting the stage for another spectacular run that included two more world all-around championships in 2018 and 2019 and three more national titles.
Biles, who married NFL star Jonathan Owens this spring, has become one of the most vocal advocates for athletes seeking space to protect their mental health after her stand in Japan brought the issue to the forefront and to the center.
Biles is one of more than 150 gymnasts abused by former coach Larry Nassar over two decades.
Biles performs during the US Classic, outside of Chicago, in front of a packed crowd.
While the conversation on the subject is constantly evolving, Biles’s return to the sport she’s dominated for nearly a decade suggests an athlete who wants to go out on her own terms.
Sunisa Lee, who won gold in the all-around final in Tokyo, will also be at the US Classic after spending two years competing at Auburn, where she helped spearhead a massive surge in interest in collegiate gymnastics.
Lee missed the second half of his sophomore year with the Tigers while dealing with health issues, but is thinking of returning to the Olympics not to defend his all-around title, but to try for another shot at gold on the uneven bars, his event. characteristic.
She ranked third in Tokyo bars, due in large part to the attention she received after becoming the fifth consecutive American woman to win the Olympic title.