In an exhilarating return to gymnastics, Simone Biles triumphed at the U.S. Classic on Saturday after a two-year hiatus. Biles, who had previously taken time to focus on her mental health and married life, re-established her dominance in the sport, with a stellar performance that left spectators and competitors in awe.
Despite initial reservations about competing again, the decision became clear to her over a casual chat with her coaches. From then on, the 26-year-old Olympic champion committed herself to return to the arena that had once fostered her historic accomplishments.
Biles’ entrance to the podium was marked by a deafening wave of support from fans, their handmade signs signaling their continued admiration for the gymnast. For Biles, the U.S. Classic was more than just another competition; it was her reclaiming the space she knew and excelled in, after contending with much uncertainty and pressure over the past 732 days.
Her all-around score of 59.100 at the U.S. Classic, a significant five points ahead of runner-up Leann Wong, marked her triumphant return. This performance was a testament to her remarkable talent, given that she had resumed full-time training only a few months after her wedding to Green Bay Packers’ safety Jonathan Owens.
Biles dominated three of the four events, reaffirming her unparalleled skill in the sport. Despite some initial confusion during her introduction, the seasoned gymnast quickly found her footing and demonstrated her mastery.
The athlete, who donned a black-and-white leotard and a silicone wedding band from Amazon for the competition, delivered electrifying performances that drew cheers from the audience. Though still slightly anxious about the twisting elements in her routines, Biles seemed at ease on the floor, showcasing what the future might hold for her journey to the Paris Olympics.
While the U.S. Classic is often viewed as a prelude to the U.S. Championships, for Biles, it served as a platform to demonstrate that her hiatus hadn’t hindered her ability to outshine her competitors. Her Yurchenko double-pike vault, an ambitious move she had intended to execute at Tokyo, became one of the highlights of the event, scoring a resounding 15.400, significantly higher than any of her peers.
Looking ahead, Biles seems focused on savoring her “little wins”, recognizing the need to care for her body as she returns to the demanding sport. With the world championships on the horizon and the Paris Olympics less than a year away, the legendary gymnast is determined to keep refining and building her craft. Her triumphant comeback at the U.S. Classic is a promising start, hinting at the potential for another period of historic dominance.