Simone Biles Won Her Eighth U.S. Gymnastics Championship a Full Decade After Winning Her First

Simone Biles

Ten years after she first ascended to the peak of her sport as a teenager prodigy, the gymnastics champion won a record eighth U.S. Championship on Sunday night. Simone Biles, a 26-year-old newlywed who is regarded as one of the finest gymnasts of all time, posted a two-day all-around score of 118.40, four points ahead of Shilese Jones. Leanne Wong, a junior from Florida, came in third, which helps her chances of making the world title team for a third consecutive year.

Biles will almost certainly go back to the gym where she won her first world championship in 2013. Over the course of two exciting nights at the SAP Center, she proved that, even after a two-year break after the Tokyo Olympics, in gymnastics, there is one person known as the GOAT and everyone else.

Biles is the first woman to earn a national title after turning 20 since USA Gymnastics started holding the competitions in 1963. Alfred Jochim, who won seven titles between 1925 and 1933 when the Amateur Athletics Union conducted the championships and men’s competition involving rope climbing, was surpassed by her with eight titles.

Biles stated, “I don’t think about numbers.” “I consider my own performance. I believe I am 8-for-8 overall. This year, it must be a fortunate number.”

The sport has advanced significantly over the past century. No one has spent more time at the extreme end of the bell curve than Biles, who has spent the past decade utilizing her singular talents to push boundaries in multiple ways.

It is not normal for peaks to last this long. At age 26, the majority of elite gymnasts — at least those who have not retired — mainly concentrate on preserving their current status.

Biles has no desire in doing so. This has never happened before. She gets bored easily by routines and Simone Biles procedures. She says she’s doing it “for herself” this time, and her drastically changed approach to the job backs up her claim.

She has kept most of her training secret as she prepares for a third Olympics, preferring to share glimpses of her life outside of the gym.

Biles stated, “I prefer to keep (my goals) private so that I know what I’m aiming for.” “I believe it is best this way. This year, I’m attempting to move somewhat differently than I have in the past. I believe it to be working thus far, so I will keep it a secret.”

There seems to be more balance in her life, with her embracing the “it’s just gymnastics” principle that fueled her ascent.

Sunday was relatively safe by her standards, despite the fact that age has not yet caught up with her. She injured her right ankle during training on Saturday, preventing her from performing the Yurchenko double pike vault that she performed almost flawlessly on the first night of the competition.

Her score of 14.850 for her Cheng vault was the highest of the evening for the event. Similarly, the 14.8 she earned on the balance beam was an impressive accomplishment.  The 15.400 earned her a standing ovation when she completed it.

In late September, Biles will compete in Antwerp, where she will attempt to add to the 25 medals, 18 of which are gold, she has already won in her remarkable career.

Jones is likely on the plane as well. The 21-year-old is a bartending marvel despite being unusually tall (5’6″ or so) for someone who does this for a livelihood. The crowd erupted when she nailed her dismount; her 15,000 score was the highest in the competition for the event,  and she placed 10 months of injuries that slowed her training in the rearview mirror.

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Who will accompany Jones and Biles at the world championships remains highly uncertain.

The reigning Olympic champion Sunisa Lee, who has spent the majority of the year battling a kidney problem that her physicians have yet to resolve, may have a chance as a specialist after executing a strong balance beam routine.

Wong, one of several athletes attempting to compete at both the NCAA and elite levels simultaneously, produced two outstanding performances, including an exquisite bars routine and a floor exercise that makes up for its lack of strength in precision.

Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles, Biles’ 2020 Olympic companions who have also spent the last two years dividing their time between college and elite, were not as sharp. Chiles plummeted from the bars and the beam. Carey achieved a top-ten finish in only one event, vault, where the Americans are expected to be heavily favored.