Simone Biles set for long-awaited gymnastics comeback at US Classic

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Simone Biles is back in training as she prepares to return to competition (Image: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Simone Biles is back in training as she prepares to return to competition (Image: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Olympic champion Simone Biles is preparing to make a return to gymnastics.

The American has not competed since the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 when she suffered from 'the twisties,' a mental block that sees competitors lose their sense of spatial awareness. As a result, the 26-year-old dropped out of the team final and women's individual all-around.

Now the 19-time gymnastics world champion is set to return to competition this weekend in the US Classic in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. She has been pictured in training and was put through her paces ahead of the event where she is scheduled to do all four disciplines, including the uneven bars.

Biles acknowledged this is the most difficult routine for her to perform given how physically and mentally demanding the routine is due to its nature of uninterrupted flipping, floating and twisting from bar to bar. The gymnastics legend has since gone on record saying she stepped away from competing after the Olympics in order to focus on prioritising her mental health.

She later stated her curtailed Tokyo Olympics was in part due to the trauma of being sexually abused by former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar. In August 2021, Biles gave an emotional testimony at a U.S. Senate hearing into the scandal, where she revealed how the abuse had affected her during the Games.

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“The scars of this horrific abuse continue to live with all of us … I worked incredibly hard to make sure that my presence could help maintain a connection between the failures [around the Nassar case] and the competition at Tokyo 2020,” she said. “That has proven to be an exceptionally difficult burden for me to carry, particularly when required to travel to Tokyo without the support of any of my family.

“I am a strong individual and I will persevere, but I never should have been left alone to suffer the abuse of Larry Nassar. And the only reason I did, was because of the failures that lie at the heart of the abuse that you are now asked to investigate.” But according to Mail Online, she was convinced to return to competition by her NFL player husband Jonathan Owens.

Simone Biles set for long-awaited gymnastics comeback at US ClassicThe American will compete in the US Classic in Hoffman Estates, Illinois this weekend (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

“What a difference love can do. Simone's identity in gymnastics has been her life and now that her personal life is in such a great place, she's looking to lean back into her professional life as she wants to do what she excels at while she still has the time and ability to do it,” a source close to Biles told Mail Online.

“Currently, for her, it is one step at a time, she wants to train hard, continue excelling and get to the right frame of mind because if she were to do the Olympics again, it would be to get gold. Her husband Jonathan has really been her personal champion and has been the one to tell her to get back into it. He knows she would be incredible and he knows she has missed it.

“If and when this upcoming competition goes as well as she expects, she would be more prone to go full force and would highly consider the Olympics and do what she needs to do to get there."

Liam Llewellyn

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