Simone Biles, a gymnastics icon, is poised to return to competitive gymnastics this summer after a two-year sabbatical. Biles will compete in the U.S. Classic in Hoffman Estates, a Chicago suburb, on August 4-5, following her performance at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, where she withdrew from many events to prioritise her mental health. This is her first meet since the Olympics, and fans are looking forward to seeing her return to the sport she ruled for nearly a decade.
The U.S. Classic, an annual national championship event, is set to take place at Hoffman Estates’ NOW Arena. Ticket prices for this highly anticipated competition begin at $78, highlighting the excitement and expectation surrounding Biles’ comeback to gymnastics.
Simone Biles Returns to Competitive Gymnastics at U.S. Classic
USA Gymnastics Chief Programs Officer, Stefanie Korepin, expressed enthusiasm for the upcoming U.S. Classic, highlighting the level of talent and historical legacy that will be showcased. She stressed that each athlete taking part is at a different stage of their season and career, and that USA Gymnastics is committed to assisting them on their individual paths.
Biles, aged 27, has not yet disclosed her plans for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, which are scheduled to take place next summer. Despite previously expressing doubts about a comeback, she confirmed her attendance in Paris, either as an athlete or in another capacity.
After an eventful stay in Japan during the summer of 2021, where Biles prioritised her mental health by withdrawing from multiple events, she took a break from competitive gymnastics. She returned for the balance beam final, winning a bronze medal and tying Shannon Miller’s record for the most Olympic medals by an American female gymnast. Biles’ decision to prioritise her own health turned the focus away from the games and onto the overall well-being of athletes.
Biles has been busy over the last two years, including headlining her post-Olympic tour in the autumn of 2021 and marrying NFL star Jonathan Owens, who now plays defensive back for the Green Bay Packers. Furthermore, she has emerged as a key advocate for athletes’ mental health, underlining the importance of creating space for well-being.
The U.S. Classic is an important tournament on USA Gymnastics’ annual calendar, frequently serving as a warm-up for the national championships. This year, the national championships are scheduled to take place in San Jose later in August.
Biles previously used the U.S. Classic as her comeback meet in 2018, following a two-year break after her outstanding medal haul in Rio de Janeiro. Biles quickly reaffirmed herself as the gold standard in gymnastics by exhibiting her unwavering excellence. Her future achievements included two more global all-around titles and three more national crowns.
Paris 2024 Games On Sight, But With Less Pressure
As she prepares for her comeback, Biles appears to be taking a more reserved approach than she did in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics. With the Paris Games approaching, she has reduced gymnastics content on her social media accounts in favour of sharing glimpses of her personal life. Furthermore, with the rise of gymnastic superstars such as Sunisa Lee, the pressure of being the United States program’s standard-bearer will not fall exclusively on Biles’ shoulders, letting her to focus on her own career.