After Two-Year Layoff, Simone Biles Returns To Competition With A Win
Superstar gymnast Simone Biles returned to competition August 5, 2023, after a two-year layoff from the “twisties” of the Tokyo Olympics and looked every bit the world champion, posting an all-around score of 59.100 en route to a win at the U.S. Classic at the Now Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
In June 2023, Biles hosted a Q&A session on her Instagram account. One user asked Biles what the toughest event for Biles to come back to was, and she replied, “It’s always bars…mentally & physically. But this go around…BABY!!! Twisting on any event. Iykyk.
“Mainly because when the twisties happen, you go right into the gym and work on it,” she added. “I took over a year off and THEN came back…So I was petrified. But I’m fine. I’m twisting again. No worries. All is good.”
Biles has only been in training for around three months following her April wedding to Green Bay Packers safety Jonathan Owens.
In that context, Biles was absolutely spectacular in front of a sold-out crowd of supporters. In the beginning, Biles looked unsure of where she was supposed to go, but once her routine started Biles was locked in.
Biles routinely does the most difficult exercises. This competition was no exception as her floor routine had a start value of 6.8, well above everyone else in the field. She finished that portion with a 14.9 before moving on to the vault, the event that caused her to lose her “air awareness” or develop the “twisties.”
Biles did a move that she was going to attempt in Tokyo before she had to pull out of the event—a Yurichenko double pike vault, followed by two backflips placing her hands behind her knees. She soared through the air and looked back to her old self.
Even though this event was considered a warm-up to more serious competition, it’s a good sign. Biles’ all-around score was higher than the score she posted at this event in 2018, when she redefined the sport, establishing herself as one of the greatest gymnasts we have ever seen.
It looks like Biles is headed for another incredible run and she appears to have gotten better during her time off, a frightening proposition for the competition.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 6, 2023