Simone Biles Begins Her March to Paris

Gymnast dominates US Classic looking for her spot on Olympic team as Gabby Douglas scratches
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 19, 2024 7:00 AM CDT
Simone Biles Begins Her March to Paris
Sunisa Lee competes in the floor exercise during the US Classic gymnastics event Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Hartford, Conn.   (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

Simone Biles certainly looks ready for Paris with more than two months to go before the Olympic games begin. The gymnastics superstar began her bid for a third Olympic team looking as dominant as ever at the US Classic on Saturday, posting an all-around score of 59.500, nearly two points clear of runner-up Shilese Jones, reports the AP. The 27-year-old Biles, the 2016 Olympic champion, recorded the highest score on vault and floor exercise and came in second on uneven bars and balance beam in her 2024 debut. "I was just happy to be back out there, get through those nerves again, feel that adrenaline," Biles said. "I can't really complain how the first meet back was."

She did a handful of her signature skills, including hitting the Yurchenko double pike on vault and a tumbling pass that ends with a triple-twisting double-flip. While Biles wasn't perfect—she took a couple of big steps back on her vault dismount and got so much air on the triple-double that she landed out of bounds—her mixture of difficulty and precision remains the standard in the sport. Biles is a virtual lock to make the five-woman US Olympic team should she stay healthy. The big question over the next six weeks is who will join her in France. Jones was brilliant on bars and steady everywhere else and should head to the US Championships later this month and the Olympic Trials in late June with confidence.

After that, things get murky:

  • Gabby Douglas: The 2012 Olympic champion, was hoping to use the US Classic as a springboard. Instead, she will leave with questions about the road ahead. The 28-year-old, making a comeback after an extended break following the 2016 Olympics, fell twice on uneven bars and pulled out of the four remaining events.
  • Sunisa Lee: She won the Olympic title at the 2020 games in Tokyo, but has been battling kidney issues for the last 18 months. She competed in three events and her elegant beam routine earned her a 14.600, a touch ahead of the 14.550 put up by Biles.
  • Jordan Chiles: The 2020 Olympic silver medalist came in third in the all-around at 55.450.
  • Jade Carey: She captured gold on floor in Tokyo, and placed fourth.
(More Simone Biles stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.