Simone Biles dazzles in U.S. championships training

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Simone Biles is making it feel like 2016 all over again.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist returned to the SAP Center in San Jose, California, the same venue where she made her first Olympic team for the Olympic Games in Rio, and she looked every bit the part of the world’s best gymnast once more.

She followed up her stellar return to competition earlier this month at the U.S. Classic with a solid and spectacular performance in Wednesday’s (23 August 2023) official practice ahead of the 2023 U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Biles enters as the clear favourite to claim what would be her eighth U.S. all-around crown, a record.

The 26-year-old performed many of the elements that have become her signature in recent years, including the daring Yurchenko double pike which could become the fifth element named in her honour if she successfully competes it at the World Championships or Olympic Games.

All this comes after the newlywed only started to “buckle down” after her May nuptials to Green Bay Packer safety Jonathan Owens.

READ MORE:Simone Biles cheers on husband at Packers game, her friend steals spotlight

“Simone… This is where her greatness as a gymnast comes in. I think for a lot of us, it takes years to really get back on track,” Laurie Hernandez, Biles’ Rio 2016 teammate, told NBC Sports of the quick return to form. “So for her to truly be back in the spring and then be here competing in August, that’s phenomenal.”

It’s a boost for the sport, too, which saw a sold out NOW Arena welcome the five-time World all-around champion back to the competitive floor.

“Simone is an all-time great athlete and having her back definitely brings more attention to the sport gymnastics and this event as well. So we couldn’t be more excited,” said USA Gymnastics president Li Li Leung, a former U.S. national team member in her own right. “You’re gonna see some great gymnastics out of her, too.”

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