HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.
Four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles made a triumphant return to gymnastics after a two-year hiatus, dominating the U.S. Classic on Aug. 5 in her first competition since the Tokyo Olympics.
Biles, a 19-time world champion, electrified a sellout crowd in suburban Chicago with a stunning performance, receiving an all-around judges’ total score of 59.100 points.
“Tonight went really well,” Biles said. “Everything has fallen into place. I feel really good about where I am now mentally and physically.”
“I still think there are some things to work on in my routine but, for the first meet back, I would say it went pretty well. I’m very shocked and surprised. I’m very happy now that that is out of the way.”
The meet was the last chance to qualify for the U.S. nationals in three weeks at San Jose, California, and Biles is also hoping to compete for a title in Antwerp in October at the World Championships.
Biles used the U.S. Classic as her comeback meet in 2018 after a lengthy break following her starring role at the 2016 Rio Olympics, which included gold in all-around, vault, floor and team.
While Biles has not announced if she will be making a bid to compete at next year’s Paris Olympics, her superb comeback spectacle at the Classic at age 26 could be a first stride in that direction.
“We’re still in the working steps,” Biles said when asked about the Paris Games. “My main goal was this and then championships and after that we’ll look on to worlds and then we’ll see.”
“So far it’s heading in the right direction but I still have to work on myself. I’m still going to do my therapy. I’m going to put myself first.”