Simone Biles Eyeing Paris 2024 Olympics amid Gymnastics Return: ‘That’s the Path I Would Love to Go’

Fresh off two wins at a Classic in Illinois and the U.S. Championships, Biles is prepping for the big games

<p>Ezra Shaw/Getty</p> Simone Biles places first in the floor competition at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships

Ezra Shaw/Getty

Simone Biles places first in the floor competition at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships

Simone Biles has her eyes on Paris.

Speaking to Hoda Kotb on the Today show Thursday, the famed gymnast revealed that next year’s Olympic games might be on her schedule.

Right now I would say that’s the path that I would love to go,” Biles, 26, said when Kotb, 59, asked about the likelihood of her return in 2024.

The news comes after Biles made her first competition appearance since the 2020 Tokyo Olympics earlier this month. She made her debut at the Core Hydration Classic in Illinois on Aug. 5, and dominated the competition, winning by a five-point margin. The U.S. Gymnastics Championships came next, and Biles once again proved her prowess as she collected her 8th win at the national competition — a record-breaking feat.

Reflecting on how she’s handling the sport now, after a two year break, Biles told Kotb she’s being “a little bit more cautious.”

“Everything we’re doing leading up to this next Games, or whatever, is very intentional,” she said, adding that she and her team are focusing on making sure she’s equipped “mentally and physically.”

In the two years since she competed in Tokyo, Biles said she’s realized she has to prioritize her mental health more than ever.

She notably pulled out of the team competition and later, all-around events, at the Tokyo Olympics, at the time citing mental health issues related to executing the complicated moves. Biles later explained to reporters that she had the "twisties" while attempting her first skill of the Olympic competition, a 2½ twisting vault, and  "had no idea where I was in the air."

Since then, she's done the work to make sure she's ready for competition again. “I think I have to take care of myself a little bit more and listen to my body and making sure I’m making time for the important things in my life, rather than before it was just like go, go, go and then making time after,” she said on Today Thursday. “This time around, it’s being intentional, going to therapy, making sure everything is aligned so I can do the best in the gym and be like, a good wife, good daughter, good friend — all the good things.”

Related: Simone Biles Is 'Working' Out Her 2024 Paris Olympic Plans: 'Heading in the Right Direction'

<p>Tom Weller/DeFodi Images via Getty</p> Simone Biles at the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021

Tom Weller/DeFodi Images via Getty

Simone Biles at the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021

The newlywed, who tied the knot twice earlier this year with Jonathan Owens, once at a courthouse and then again in Mexico — also shared her feelings about returning to the uneven bars. The event has “always” been the hardest for her to come back to, she shared in an Instagram Q&A last month, but she’s facing her fears.

“There were times I would come in the gym and I’d be like, ‘You know, I don’t think this is going to work’ and then I was like, ‘No, I’m going to give it another day. I’m going to give it another day,’ ” she told Kotb. “So I think just showing up and putting that work and that effort in really came to play.”

She added that “trust in my coach, my teammates, myself most importantly” has helped her navigate the tricky return.

“As long as I showed up for another day and kept putting that work in, then it kind of went down and dwindled. Right now I’m feeling really good. I think I still sometimes doubt myself but I’m still doing my therapy and making sure everything’s aligned.”

Related: Simone Biles Fact-Checks a Tweet About Her Gold Medal Count: 'This Is Awkward'

While Biles may have her eyes on Paris in 2024, she’s not forgetting about the major competition that stands between then and now. This month, she’s set to compete at the world championships in Belgium, her first international competition since the Tokyo Olympics.

Prior to having two impressive wins under her belt, she told PEOPLE she was “very nervous” and doubted if she’d “even be the same athlete” she once was.

“So Classic, I kind of tiptoed my way in there, just tried to get the meet done and over with, kind of make sure I still had that confidence and that belief in myself,” she said of her first competition in Illinois earlier this month. “And then going into Championships was like, okay, let's get through two dates of competition, see how this goes. Just keep training.”

<p>Joe McNally/Sports Illustrated via Getty</p> Simone Biles earns a gold medal in the women's floor event at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Joe McNally/Sports Illustrated via Getty

Simone Biles earns a gold medal in the women's floor event at the 2016 Rio Olympics

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Now, she’s feeling ready to take on the world — literally.

“I feel a lot more confident now I'm heading into World Trials and then hopefully making that World team. So it feels a lot better than prior.”

She added, “I just did Classics and Championships and I'm out here competing again when I never thought I would be competing, especially back to the same level and having the same confidence. So I'm just really proud of myself for that. So I would say I'm looking forward to carrying that energy into the next couple meets this year.”

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