Simone Biles Makes Historic Return to Gymnastics

Simone Biles Makes Historic Return to Gymnastics
Jordan Klein
Jordan Klein

Two years after her emotional exit from the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles made a spectacular return at the World Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp. The 26-year-old marked her comeback by achieving a groundbreaking feat – landing a Yurchenko double pike vault, now named "Biles II" in her honor.

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Biles is the oldest American woman to participate at the worlds and has won seven Olympic medals in addition to 25 world medals, the most of any gymnast in history. She now has five talents named after her, including two floor exercises, two vault exercises, and one balancing beam exercise. Biles scored 15.266 for landing the Yurchenko double pike, which is rated as the most difficult jump in the women's scoring code. She scored a total of 58.865 in the all-around, leading to the vault being named Biles II after a different, original vault was named after her in 2018.

This event was particularly significant as it marked Biles' first international competition since taking a two-year hiatus from the sport to focus on her mental health. Her triumphant return began in August with a win at the US Classic, followed by securing her eighth US all-around title at the national championships. Biles' performances helped the United States take first place in the women's qualification standings.
Since opting out of five of her six finals at the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, she had not participated in an international competition. Biles revealed that she had been experiencing the "twisties," a mental block that may cause gymnasts to become disoriented in the air.

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In addition to her historic vault, Biles showcased her remarkable skills on the uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise. Her outstanding performance not only wowed the audience but also inspired fans around the world. With 32 world and Olympic medals to her name, Biles is now on the verge of becoming the most decorated gymnast in history. Prior to the world championships, she emphasized that success, for her, means more than just winning; it's about enjoying the journey and competing with a positive mindset.

The women's team final takes place on Wednesday, where Biles and her USA team will now go for team gold.

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