The legendary gymnast's latest victory marks her continued comback after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
In 2013, a 16-year-old Simone Biles won her first all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, kicking off a legendary career that saw her become the most decorated U.S. gymnast in world championships history.
Ten years later, — and after returning to competition following a long break — Biles repeated the feat, winning her eighth title at the championships in San Joes, California on Sunday.
It was a historic victory for Biles, eclipsing the previous record of seven wins set by Alfred Joachim in 1933. Biles also became the oldest woman to win a U.S. Gymnastics title at the age of 26.
"I think sometimes, you black out whenever all those things happen," Biles said after her win, as reported by USA Today. "I also think whenever I won those titles back in the day, we were focusing on the next thing. What’s next? … We never got to settle in and celebrate that."
"Now, moving forward, we really try to celebrate our success, individually and as a team," she continued. "Just so that, in a couple of years, we can remember those. Because I really don’t remember a lot from the past."
During this past weekend’s competition, Biles accumulated an all-around total of 118.40, followed by Shilese Jones with 114.550 and Leanne Wong with 111.100.
Biles is expected to compete at the world championships in Antwerp, Belgium, next month. But the athlete has not yet officially confirmed whether she will compete in the Paris Olympics in 2024.
“I like to keep (my goals) personal just so that I know what I am aiming for,” Biles said to NBC, as reported by CNN. “I’m trying to move a little bit differently this year than I have in the past. So I think it’s working so far, so I’m gonna keep it a little bit secretive.”
In early August, Biles took part in the Core Hydration Classic in Illinois and dominated with an overall score of 59.100. It marked her first return to gymnastics since the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which was notable for her withdrawal from the team competition and soon after, the all-around and several individual events. According to a statement by USA Gymnastics at the time, the move was for Biles to “focus on her mental health.”
“Tears of joy as I make this comeback, surrounded by the love you’ve shown! thank you for believing in me 🏾,” she captioned her August 6 Instagram post with a triumphant fist in the air at the Core Hydration Classic.
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Biles’ return to competition hasn’t been the only major thing that has happened recently in the gymnast’s life. In April, Biles wedded Green Bay Packers player Jonathan Owens in a courthouse ceremony in April, and then said "I do" again for a second time in Cabo San Lucas in May.
In an Aug. 15 Instagram post, prior to U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Biles shared a photograph of her sharing a kiss with Owens near the tunnel at Packers-Bengals game in Cincinnati. “Long distance isn’t easy, but seeing you play your heart out is so worth it 💛," she wrote. "I’m so proud of you baby".
In response to her Instagram, Owens commented: "Thank you baby, i love you so much ❤️❤️".
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