Star gymnast Simone Biles, who had been expected to dominate at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics but was interrupted by mental health issues and has not competed since, plans to return a year before the Paris Olympics. may be
Biles, 26, is among the participants at the U.S. Classic scheduled for August 5 near Chicago and a prelude to the National Gymnastics Championships in San Jose, Calif., August 24-27. It is war.
Her entry was met with much fanfare. It’s unclear if Biles will be able to recapture the form she was in when she won four Olympic gold medals and a total of seven gold medals, including the individual all-around at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
Many in the sport wonder if Biles will retire from competition after the Tokyo Olympics, when he withdrew from most of his sport citing mental health problems, and begin a life outside of gymnastics. After all her years trying to live up to her expectations and please the public, she was looking forward to starting her new chapter. This spring, she married Green Bay Packers defensive back Jonathan Owens.
But other gymnastics experts suspect Biles will at least try to return to vaulting. In some ways, vaulting requires less practice time than other disciplines. USA Gymnastics says registration for the event “is not a guarantee of participation,” but her appearance at the US Classic shows that Biles feels she can still be a force in gymnastics at home and abroad. may be showing.
Biles’ inclusion on the roster alongside past champions and current favorites doesn’t make it clear that she intends to compete in Paris, but it does make it more likely. there is Her coaches Laurent Landy and Cécile Landy are French, and she said earlier that it would be an honor for them to win a medal in her home country.
“We are not commenting on her return to the US Classics, but we are really looking forward to her and just cherishing each day,” Landy said in a text message. rice field. She said, “No pressure, just enjoy her experience!”
At the Tokyo Games, Biles was expected to win at least three individual events while aiming to become the first women’s gymnast to win back-to-back Olympic all-around champions in more than half a century. Although she was heavily touted as perhaps the most anticipated star of these Olympics, she was under immense pressure heading into the Games. At the time, she was still traumatized by being one of the survivors of a sexual abuse scandal that rocked the sports world.
Biles was one of hundreds of gymnasts and other athletes victimized by former national team doctor Lawrence G. Nassar. She and others have publicly criticized US Gymnastics and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee in ways that go against sporting conventions that encourage athletes to remain quiet during competition. Shortly after the Tokyo Olympics, she was also one of the gymnasts who testified before Congress about her gross mishandling in the Federal Bureau of Investigation case.
When the Tokyo Games began, the stress caused her to lose her aerial spatial awareness, a potentially dangerous condition known as “twisty” in gymnastics.
She withdrew from the team final and did not compete in the individual all-around. Biles said at the time she was shivering and unable to take a nap and was not in the proper “head space” to continue and she was worried she might get hurt. “She’s really bad at wrestling with her head,” she says.
Still, her determination remained, and on the final day of the gymnastics competition in Tokyo, Biles regained her composure and won bronze on the balance beam with her modified routine. “She didn’t expect to come home with a medal,” she said at the time. “I was just doing this for myself.” She added, “Having another chance to compete in the Olympics meant the world to me.”
Biles faced some criticism for withdrawing from several events in Tokyo, but was widely accepted for speaking openly about her mental health and acknowledging her weaknesses.
Along with other athletes such as swimmer Michael Phelps, tennis player Naomi Osaka, figure skater Gracie Gold, and basketball players DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love, Biles rejects long traditions of stoicism in the sport. , symbolized a cultural shift in willingness to act in public. Talk about anxiety, depression and pressure.
Sian L. Baylock, then president of Barnard College in New York (now president of Dartmouth College) and a cognitive scientist who studies athletes, businessmen, students and why they succumb to pressure, Speaking about Biles during the tournament: I applaud her for the fact that she was able to see that her own state of mind wasn’t right and that she was able to step back. What a big deal! There was a lot of pressure to keep going. And she found the strength to say, ‘No, this isn’t right. “
Biles and others’ outspoken statements confirm that mental health issues affect everyone, Baylock said.
Juliet McCool Contributed to the report.