Simone Biles Owens
Photo: LINDSEY WASSON / REUTERS
US superstar Simone Biles Owens celebrates her gymnastics comeback two years after her spectacular retirement during the Olympic competitions. This was announced by the U.S. association on Wednesday. Accordingly, the four-time Olympic champion and multiple world champion will compete again on August 5 at the U.S. Classic Gymnastics Festival in Hoffman Estates near Chicago. Whether Biles Owens is seriously considering participating in the Olympic Games in Paris in just over a year's time was left open by USA Gymnastics on Wednesday.
Biles Owens, as the 26-year-old has been called by her full name since her marriage to US professional football player Jonathan Owens last April, dropped out in Tokyo in 2021 in the middle of a competition. Mental problems had caused a blockage in the three-time World Sportswoman of the Year when turning around the longitudinal axis.
"I didn't trust myself anymore. I was so nervous. I don't know that from myself," said the now 26-year-old at the time after her retirement. Later, in an interview with New York Magazine, she said that the scandal surrounding former team doctor Larry Nassar had taken a heavy emotional toll on her as a victim of sexual violence.
The pressure on Biles Owens was already enormous in the run-up to the Olympics. The gymnast qualified for six competitions either alone or with her team. In all eliminations, she had a good chance of winning. Instead of the six gold medals she was aiming for, she won one silver and one bronze medal in Tokyo.
For her decision to take care of herself even under this pressure, the gymnast received a lot of encouragement and support. "Am I good enough? Yes, I'm good enough. The mantra I practice on a daily basis. Simone Biles, we're proud of you and we're keeping our fingers crossed for you," former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted at the time.
Biles Owens has already made a comeback at the U.S. Classic
The U.S. Classic is one of the most important events in the annual calendar of USA Gymnastics and usually serves as a kind of warm-up for the national championships, which will take place this year at the end of August in San José.
Biles Owens used the U.S. Classic as a comeback competition back in 2018 after taking a two-year hiatus after taking a two-year hiatus after her record medal haul in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. This was followed by two more World All-Around Championships in 2018 and 2019, as well as three more national titles.