U.S. artistic gymnastics icon Simone Biles, 26, returned to competition after a mental breakdown and dominated her first competition in two years, winning three gold medals.
Biles won the all-around, floor exercise and vault at the 2023 U.S. Classic, which concluded on Saturday (June 6) at the Now Arena in Hoffman Estates, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Biles scored 59.100 points in the all-around (vault, uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise) to win the gold medal in dominant fashion, beating runner-up Leanne Wong by a whopping five points.
In artistic gymnastics, where a thousandth of a point can determine the color of a medal, a five-point gap is a “super-gap.
Biles also finished first on the uneven bars (14.800) and floor exercise (14.900), which are ranked by individual all-around scores.
The U.S. Classic marks Biles’ first competition in two years after her shocking finish at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and serves as a qualifier for the U.S. Championships later this month in San Jose, California.
Biles’ health has also boosted her chances of qualifying for Paris 2024, which is just 11 months away.
Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medalist at Rio de Janeiro 2016 and a favorite to win all six gold medals in women’s artistic gymnastics at Tokyo 2020, crashed and burned on her first event of the team final, the vault, where she scored a 13, more than two points below her original score.
After her vault, Biles reported unexplained stress and withdrew from the remaining four events, saying she wanted to seek mental health first.
However, she competed in the final event, the vault, and won the bronze medal to go with the silver in the team event, ending her Tokyo Olympics with two medals.
As a first-hand testament to the unimaginable stresses a world-class athlete can experience, Biles opened the world’s eyes to the seriousness of mental health and was named Time’s “Athlete of the Year” that year.
Two years of therapy and personal training later, Biles was still dominant in her comeback, raising expectations for the upcoming U.S. Championships and the U.S. Olympic Trials in Paris.
“Mentally and physically, I’m in better shape than I was in 2021,” Biles told Reuters after the race.
Biles married Green Bay Packers safety Jonathan Owens of the National Football League (NFL) last year. 파워볼사이트