Simone Biles, the gymnastics superstar, plans to make her comeback at the US Classic outside Chicago in early August. This will be her first competition since the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which took place in the summer of 2021.
On Wednesday, USA Gymnastics announced that Simone Biles, a seven-time Olympic medalist and the 2016 Olympic champion, is part of the women’s field for the single-day event on 5 August at Now Arena in Hoffman Estates.
Following her eventful time in Japan, where she chose to withdraw from multiple events to prioritize her mental health, Biles has taken most of the last two years off. Her actions shifted the focus from the games themselves to the overall well-being of the athletes. While in Japan, she cheered on her American teammates as they won the team silver but opted out of the all-around, vault, and floor exercise finals due to experiencing “the twisties,” a term used in gymnastics when an athlete loses their spatial awareness while in the air.
Balance Beam Final
Biles made a comeback for the balance beam final, where she won a bronze medal, tying Shannon Miller’s record for the most Olympic medals won by an American female gymnast. She has hinted at her intention to compete in the Paris 2024 Olympics but only after taking a substantial break.
The past two years have been a whirlwind for Biles. She headlined her post-Olympic tour in the fall of 2021 and got married to NFL player Jonathan Owens, who currently plays as a defensive back for the Green Bay Packers, this spring.
At 26 years old, Biles has also become a vocal advocate for athletes to prioritize their mental health, and her actions in Japan brought this issue to the forefront. While the conversation surrounding mental health in sports is constantly evolving, Biles’ return to the sport she dominated for nearly a decade indicates that she wants to end her career on her own terms.
The US Classic is one of the premier events on USA Gymnastics’ annual calendar and typically serves as a warm-up for the national championships, scheduled for late August in San Jose this year.