Simone Biles Returns. It Was Like She Never Left

After two years away from gymnastics, she smokes the competition at US Classic
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2023 7:14 AM CDT
No 'Twisties' This Time: Simone Biles Is Back
Simone Biles after performing on the vault at the U.S. Classic gymnastics competition Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, in Hoffman Estates, Ill.   (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

Notice to the world's elite female gymnasts: Simone Biles is back. The 26-year-old returned to competition at the US Classic Saturday after taking two years off for mental health issues and easily dominated, reports USA Today. Biles won the competition by 5 points, an enormous margin—the New York Times notes it was about the same difference as the one between the gymnasts in second and 17th place. "I feel really good about where I am right now, mentally and physically," Biles said afterward, per the AP. "I still think there are some things to work on in my routines, but for the first meet back, I would say it went pretty well. I'm very shocked. Surprised."

Biles pulled out of events at the 2021 Olympics in Japan over what's known in the sport as the "twisties"—she lost her bearing on maneuvers with twisting motions. She appears to have conquered them. The US Classic is typically a low-key tune-up for larger competitions, but it took on outsized interest this year because of Biles' return. All the stories note that Biles finished with the extremely difficult Yurchenko double pike, "a vault not contemplated, much less competed, before Biles introduced it in 2021," per the Times. (Biles got married during her two-year break.)

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