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Simone Biles wins 8th all-around title at U.S. Gymnastics Championships

Posted: Monday, August 28, 2023. 2:00 pm CST.

By Celeste Chang: Simone Biles has once again completed a historic routine. On Sunday she won a record eighth all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, a full decade after her first national title.

This victory in San Jose, California, solidified her dominance in the sport just weeks after Biles returned from a two-year break to focus on her mental health. Biles continued her return to the sport at the event, building off her victory at the U.S. Classic two weeks ago following a two-year layoff after pulling out of multiple events at the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2021.

“It feels really special,” Biles told NBC after her victory. “I’ve been doing it for so long, I feel like I don’t think about numbers, I think about my performance. And I think, overall, I hit eight for eight. I guess it’s a lucky number this year.”

Biles received a standing ovation after her breathtaking floor exercise, which earned her 15.400. Her 14.850 on the Cheng vault was also the highest of the night and so was the 14.8 she netted on the beam.”

Biles’ combined total of 118.450 beat second-placed Shilese Jones by 3.9 points.

Biles told NBC, “It’s really amazing. Everybody in here believes in me so I just need to start believing in myself a little bit more, but it feels amazing and I love the fans, I love the crowd. It was really special.”

The gymnastics world was left shocked when Biles pulled out of the team finals during the Olympics. She disclosed that she had been experiencing “the twisties,” a mental phenomenon which affects a gymnast’s perception about their position in the air. Not long after, she gave a tearful testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, revealing she was sexually abused by USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. In her statement she said that the USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committees “failed to do their jobs.”

The 26-year-old’s triumph on Sunday made her the oldest woman to win a national title since the competition was taken over by USA Gymnastics in 1963. In addition she has beaten the record of Alfred Jochim, who had won seven titles almost 90 years ago, back when the Amateur Athletics Union ran the tournament.

While she has won 25 medals at world championships, including 18 golds — more than any male or female gymnast in history – Biles remained quiet about whether she would compete in next year’s Paris Olympics and other future goals: “I like to keep them personal just so that I know what I am aiming for. I’m trying to move a little bit differently this year than I have in the past. I think it’s working so far, so I’m gonna keep it a little bit secretive.”

 

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