Simone Biles is one of the greatest gymnasts of all time. She has won a record-tying six all-around titles at the World Championships and is the most decorated American gymnast with 25 World Championship medals. After the 2021 Olympics, where Biles withdrew from several events citing mental health concerns, fans have been eager to see her return to competition.
Biles’ Return to Competition
In 2022, Biles announced she would return to competition at the 2022 U.S. Classic in Louisville, Kentucky. This served as a warmup event for the 2022 U.S. Gymnastics Championships held in Tampa, Florida in August. At these championships, Biles put on strong performances, winning the all-around title as well as three individual event titles (vault, balance beam, and floor exercise).
Her next scheduled competition is the 2022 World Gymnastics Championships to be held in Liverpool, England in late October. Prior to that, Biles is expected to compete at two events in the Gold Over America Tour, a 35-city exhibition tour across the United States throughout 2022.
Will Biles Compete in San Jose?
One of the stops on the Gold Over America Tour is San Jose, California on October 8, 2022. This will serve as a warmup event for Biles leading up to the World Championships later in the month. Given her return to competition this year, all signs point to Biles competing as part of the tour event in San Jose.
She is currently listed as one of the headliners for the San Jose show alongside other top gymnasts including Jade Carey, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCallum. The event is being held at the SAP Center in San Jose.
Biles’ Career Highlights
– At age 19, Biles was chosen to be the flag bearer for the United States contingent in the closing ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
– She was a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. women’s gymnastics teams at the 2014 World Championships and 2016 Summer Olympics.
– Biles won individual gold medals in the all-around, vault and floor exercise at the 2016 Olympics. She also won a bronze medal on balance beam.
– With her 2016 Olympic performance, Biles became the first female U.S. gymnast to win three gold medals and the first female gymnast since 1968 to win three gold medals in one Olympics.
– At the 2018 World Championships, Biles won gold medals in the all-around, vault, balance beam and floor exercise – becoming the first woman to win four golds at a World Championships since 1958.
– She is the only woman to win four straight all-around titles at the World Championships (2013-2018) and the only woman with five total all-around titles.
– Biles is the only female gymnast to claim five World all-around titles.
Biles’ 2021 Olympics Performance
The 2021 Olympics were highly anticipated as Biles’ chance to add to her medal count and cement her legacy. However, struggles began in the qualifying round when Biles made several uncharacteristic errors and admitted to feeling stressed and having the “twisties” – a mental block in gymnastics where competitors lose track of their positioning mid-air.
In the finals for the women’s team competition, Biles struggled on vault in her first rotation. She then made the shocking decision to withdraw from the team final, citing mental health concerns. Without Biles, the U.S. team ended up winning silver.
Biles subsequently withdrew from the individual all-around, vault, uneven bars and floor exercise finals. She made one more appearance, returning to competition to take bronze on the balance beam.
Her candor about her mental health struggles garnered wide support and sparked an important conversation about the mental strain on elite athletes. However, many wondered if they had seen the last of Biles in Olympic competition.
Biles’ Impact on Gymnastics
– Biles has inspired greater appreciation for the artistry, athleticism and difficulty involved in women’s gymnastics.
– She has proven gymnasts can enjoy long and successful careers, bucking the tradition of gymansts retiring in their mid-teens. Biles is still going strong at age 25.
– Her dominance has pushed other gymnasts to raise their difficulty levels, leading to an evolution in the sport. The difficulty of routines today has increased remarkably from just 10 years ago.
– As a Black athlete, Biles is also helping break down racial barriers in gymnastics and inspiring more participation in the sport from underrepresented groups.
– Her advocacy for mental health awareness is reducing stigma and making it more acceptable for athletes to prioritize their psychological well-being.
Biles’ Skills Named After Her
In gymnastics, skills that are newly performed at the international level are often named after the gymnast who first completed them. Biles’ extreme athletic abilities have allowed her to pioneer some of the most difficult skills in the sport. Four moves completed by Biles now officially bear her name:
– The Biles – a double layout half out on floor exercise
– The Biles II – a double double beam dismount
– The Biles II – a triple double on floor
– The Biles II – a Yurchenko double pike vault
Having such iconic skills named for her cements Biles’ reputation as one of the all-time great innovators in gymnastics.
The Gold Over America Tour
The Gold Over America Tour was launched in 2021 as a way for Biles and other Team USA gymnasts to celebrate their Olympic accomplishments. Spanning 35 cities, the tour features members of the champion U.S. Olympic team showcasing their skills and rivalries through competition and dynamic routines.
In addition to providing entertainment, a major aim of the tour is to inspire more participation in gymnastics. The line-up of athletes changes over the course of the tour but consistently includes top Team USA talent.
Biles’ Post-Competition Plans
While it seems likely the 2022 World Championships will be Biles’ final major competition, she has not definitively stated she will retire from the sport. She has indicated she will take time after Worlds to figure out her future plans.
Based on her age, however, most assume the 2022 World Championships will mark the end of her historic competitive gymnastics career.
Whenever Biles does stop competing, she has indicated she hopes to stay involved in the sport through coaching and judging. She also intends to continue using her platform to positively impact and empower young girls through her philanthropic work.
Biles has various sponsorship deals and will likely expand her business ventures after retirement from competition. With her fame, charisma, and social media presence, she seems well-poised for a successful post-gymnastics career.
Biles’ Lasting Legacy
Regardless of whether she competes in San Jose or ever again, Simone Biles has cemented her legacy in gymnastics history. Her otherworldly skills and record-breaking championship performances have made her a household name far beyond just the gymnastics community.
Biles transcended her sport to become an inspiring cultural icon. She used her platform and fame to advocate for mental health awareness and promote positive body image. The maturity and courage she displayed in prioritizing her well-being in Tokyo made her a role model for women athletes.
Above all, Biles dramatically elevated the sport of gymnastics. The unprecedented level of excellence she achieved through talent and tireless work ethic raised the bar for all gymnasts worldwide. Simone Biles will be remembered as blazing a bold, gravity-defying trail that transformed artistic gymnastics forever.