Simone Biles won a record eighth all-around title at the US Gymnastics Championships, a full decade after winning her first national title.
This victory was made just weeks after Biles returned from a two-year break from competing to focus on her mental health, and solidified a successful comeback to the top of the sport for Biles.
“It feels really special. I’ve been doing it for so long, I feel like I don’t think about numbers, I think about my performance. And I think, overall, I hit eight for eight. I guess it’s a lucky number this year.”
Biles received a standing ovation after earning a 15.400 for her floor exercise, as well as a 14.850 on the Cheng vault, which was also the highest score of the night, as was her 14.8 earning on the beam.
With a combined total of 118.450, she was able to slide into first place with Shilese Jones earning second place by just 3.9 points.
“It’s really amazing. Everybody in here believes in me. So I just need to start believing in myself a little bit more, but it feels amazing and I love the fans, I love the crowd. It was really special.”
Biles also was victorious at the US Classic two weeks ago following her two year break. Biles started to take a break to focus on her mental health at the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2021.
At the time, Biles revealed that she was experiencing “the twisties,” which is a mental phenomenon that impacts the way a gymnast perceives their positioning while in the air. Experiencing this phenomenon is very dangerous, as the technical work that goes into a gymnast’s routine is dependent on the individual’s ability to know how they’re moving and where they’ll end off.
Shortly after her experience with “the twisties” she pulled out of the Tokyo Games, later claiming that the emotional toll of competing was what prompted her withdrawal.
Now, Biles has made her return, and fans are ecstatic to see and hear that the record breaking gymnast is doing better mentally and feels confident being back on the floor.
The victory on Sunday made Biles, who’s 26, the oldest woman to win a national title since the competition was taken over by USA Gymnastics in 1963, according to reports.
Additionally, Biles has won 25 medals at world championships, including 18 golds, which is more than any man or woman has earned in gymnastics history. For now, Biles is keeping her plans to compete in the Paris Olympics to herself.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.