Simone Biles Backflips Past Competition, Secures Spot For World Championships
Simone Biles is gearing up to make sports history again. The famed gymnast has officially earned her spot on Team USA’s six-person roster in the upcoming World Championships.
The most decorated gymnast in U.S. history beat out teammate Shilese Jones during their selection event in Katy, Texas, on Sept. 19. Biles completed the process with an all-around top score of 55.700, with Jones finishing at a total of 55.300, according to the Olympics’ official website.
With a guaranteed place on the team, Biles becomes the first American woman to compete at six World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Her first was in 2013, where Biles won two gold medals, including one for best all-around, at the age of 16.
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Considered a gymnastics prodigy, Biles is trying to make the 2024 Olympics and break her own record for most medals earned. She took a two-year break after the 2021 Tokyo Games to focus on her mental health, having returned for the first time back in August to compete at the U.S. Classic outside of Chicago.
During the 2021 Olympics she suffered from the “twisties,” and pulled out of several competitions—including the team and all-around finals—to protect herself. The “twisties” is a mental block gymnasts sometimes have that causes them to lose spatial awareness, and thus control of their body, while performing. There is a disconnect between the body and mind that leads to disorientation.
Her hiatus proved to be beneficial. Biles won her 8th U.S. Championship in August 2023.
As for Biles’ personal life, she has since emerged as an advocate for mental health awareness in sports, championing her own well-being and happiness first. The 26-year-old also got married to NFL player Jonathan Owens in April.
The World Championships take place Oct. 1-8 in Antwerp, Belgium.