After a hiatus from competition, Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in US history, returned to gymnastics making her debut at the 2023 Core Hydration Classic. In her triumphant return, Biles placed first in the all-around, floor exercise and beam events. On the uneven bars she placed third.
When asked about her decision to return, Biles explained, “I always kind of knew as soon as everything that happened in Tokyo. So, this time I’m doing it for me, I worked a lot on myself, and I believe in myself a little bit more, just coming back out here and starting the first steps again.”
Biles opened with the uneven bars scoring 14.000. She moved on to the beam where she scored 14.800. She then followed up that performance with a floor exercise that received a score of 14.900. As impressive as those performances were, Biles wasn’t finished yet. She saved the best for last; completing a Yurchenko double pike off the vault to score 15.400. Biles finished the competition with a score of 59.100.
A Yurchenko double pike is considered to be the hardest women’s vault globally. If Biles wanted it named after her she will have to perform the move in international competition.
When asked how she felt after competing, Biles said, “It felt really good, especially after everything that’s happened over the past year,” Biles said in reference to her prioritizing her mental health and taking a break from the sport.
She went on to say, “So, everyone that was cheering, made posters and all that in the crowd, it just made my heart melt that they still believe in me, and I got back out here, and I did what I was training for. So I’m very happy with the result.”
Biles, along with six other gymnasts have now qualified to compete in the 2023 U.S. Gymnastic Championships that will take place August 24 – 27, 2023.