Simone Biles aims to qualify for third Olympics at US Gymnastics Trials

George Ramsay, CNN | 6/28/2024, 12:56 p.m.
Simone Biles is looking to book her spot at a third Olympic Games this week when the US Olympic Gymnastics …
Simone Biles performs her floor routine at the US Gymnastics Championships in Fort Worth, Texas. Aric Becker/ISI Photos/Getty Images

 Simone Biles is looking to book her spot at a third Olympic Games this week when the US Olympic Gymnastics Trials get underway in Minneapolis.

Seven-time Olympic medalist Biles is among 16 women and 20 men vying for a place on the US team in Paris.

She could become only the fourth American woman to compete in gymnastics at three Olympics, capping off her successful return to the sport after taking an extended break to prioritize her mental health.

The 27-year-old, who became the most decorated gymnast ever at last year’s world championships, is up against a stacked field in Minneapolis.

Suni Lee, the defending Olympic all-around champion, is also returning to the sport having been diagnosed with kidney disease last year, while Olympic floor champion Jade Carey and team silver medalist Jordan Chiles are also favorites to make the five-person roster.

Shilese Jones and Skye Blakely have enjoyed strong results in the build-up to the trails, placing second behind Biles at the Core Hydration Classic and US Gymnastics Championships respectively.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas had been hopeful of making this year’s Olympic team after time away from gymnastics, but her bid ended when she picked up an ankle injury last month.

It’s Biles, however, who headlines the women’s competition having claimed a record-extending ninth all-around title at the US Championships four weeks ago.

The victory – which saw her awarded the highest cumulative scores in the four events – underlined Biles’ dominance ahead of the Paris Olympics, three years after she withdrew from the Tokyo Games with “the twisties” – a mental block causing gymnasts to lose track of their body positions.

After the US championships, she said that was enjoying her gymnastics and “not stressing or having any anxiety.”

The highest scoring all-around athlete after the two-day competition at the trials will automatically qualify for the Olympic team. A selection committee picks the further four members of the team after the trials, taking into account performances at events since September 2023.

The selection criteria are slightly different for the men’s competition. The top all-around athlete at trials will make the Olympic team – providing that they also place in the top three in at least three individual apparatus – while the remaining four members will be chosen by the selection committee using a set of team-scoring scenarios and discretionary criteria.

Brody Malone, who won a third all-around national title earlier this month, is looking to continue his comeback from a serious knee injury sustained last year by securing a spot at the Olympics.

Fred Richard and Khoi Young finished behind Malone at the US Championships and seem well-placed to make the team. Both are looking to back up their medal-winning performances at last year’s world championships with a first appearance at the Olympics.

How to watch

The trials begin on Thursday, June 27 and take place across four days until Sunday, June 30.

Here’s the full competition schedule and how to watch:

Thursday: Men day one, 6:45-9 p.m. ET — USA Network, Peacock

Friday: Women day one, 7:40-10 p.m. ET – NBC, Peacock

Saturday: Men day two, 3:15-6 p.m. ET – NBC, Peacock

Sunday: Women day two, 8:10-11 p.m. ET – NBC, Peacock