Simone Biles Becomes the Most Decorated and Dominant Gymnast in the World
By Roz Edward | Chicago Defender | 10/11/2023, 1:55 p.m.
Olympic champion and gymnastics marvel Simone Biles has earned the title of most decorated gymnast in U.S. History with her 33rd World and Olympic medal, which also ties her for first place in the world. The famed gymnast and Team USA prevailed at the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.
“Before going up on the floor, I was like, ‘What do I need? What do I need?’ And usually, you don’t feel that pressure, so I think the pressure was a little bit on but we stood up to the occasion.”
Biles, who returned to her first competition since she withdrew from five out of six events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics returned with a vengeance. After bringing attention to the need for athletes to take care of themselves physically and emotionally, with several other world-class athletes following suit and taking time out for their mental and emotional well-being.
After her two-year hiatus from competition, Biles handily won the U.S. Classic over the weekend. After the win the 26-year-old Olympian wrote to fans and supporters through social media channels.
Following her two-year hiatus, “Tears of joy as I make this comeback, surrounded by the love you’ve shown! thank you for believing in me,” she captioned in a post to Instagram. Hubby Jonathan Owens, whom she wed back in April, also expressed his adoration and praise for his wife’s win, writing in the comments section: “So damn proud of you baby. Makes my day seeing you so happy and back doing what you love, and having FUN!!! I love you so much”
“It means the world because after everything that transpired in Tokyo, I worked on myself a lot,” Biles said to the BBC following her recent win. “I still do therapy weekly and it has just been so exciting to come out here and have the confidence I had before.”
She continued: “Everything has fallen into place. I feel really good about where I am now mentally and physically. I still think there are some things to work on in my routine but, for the first meet back, I would say it went pretty well. I’m very shocked and surprised.”
During the time of her withdrawal from the 2020 Olympics, she explained that the decision was made in order to preserve her mental health and safety and revealed she was suffering from the “twisties”—a condition that causes gymnasts to lose track of their surroundings while in the air.
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