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The 2024 Core Hydration Classic marks the return of gymnastics phenom Simone Biles in her third Olympic cycle, alongside fellow Olympic champions Suni Lee and Gabby Douglas. This star-studded event in Hartford features 13 Olympic, World Championships, and Pan American Games medalists, including the past three women’s Olympic all-around champions.

Serving as a critical stepping stone for gymnasts aiming to qualify for the 2024 U.S. Championships in Fort Worth, Texas, the Classic kicks off the Olympic Team qualifying process. Among the 50 senior elite athletes entered, who collectively boast 88 medals from major international competitions, let’s highlight some standout names and their potential to qualify for the 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships.

Simone Biles:

has been an unstoppable force at the U.S. Classic, claiming victory in 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2023. In 2023, she once again showcased her unmatched skill and determination, securing first place in the senior women’s category with a total score of 59.100.

Her performance wasn’t just about winning; it was a display of dominance and resilience, reminding us all why she’s considered one of the most decorated gymnasts of all time. The anticipation among fans for her 2024 season debut at the 2024 Core Hydration Classic thus speaks for itself.

Gabby Douglas:

Gabby Douglas, representing Anna, Texas, and WOGA Gymnastics, made a remarkable return to gymnastics after an eight-year hiatus. She competed for the first time since her break at the American Classic. Despite a few faults, the 28-year-old also demonstrated promise, posting a score of 50.65 in the all-around and qualifying for multiple events at the US Championships in Fort Worth, Texas.

She will have another opportunity to qualify for the all-around competition at nationals when she competes at the US Classic in Hartford, Connecticut, on May 18. Douglas was slated to compete at the Winter Cup in February but withdrew days before the event due to testing positive for COVID-19. Despite these challenges, Douglas continues her journey towards the 2024 Core Hydration Classic, with Paris as her aim.

Suni Lee:

Sunisa Lee, the reigning Olympic all-around champion, has faced a tumultuous yet resilient journey towards the 2024 Core Hydration Classic. Last year, Lee competed at the 2023 Core Hydration Classic, placing 29th in the all-around with a score of 28.000, having participated only in the vault and balance beam. Her struggles continued at the 2023 U.S. Championships, where she finished last overall. Battling a severe kidney issue, Lee’s primary focus shifted to her health and recovery.

Despite these challenges, her participation in the U.S. Championships was significant, culminating in a bronze medal on the beam with a two-day score of 27.850. In 2024, Lee sought to reclaim her place at the 2024 Paris Games. At the Winter Cup in Louisville, Lee faced further difficulties, falling during an innovative bars element and a simplified beam routine, resulting in an all-around score of 24.700.

Nevertheless, Lee’s perseverance shone through at the American Classic on April 27 in Katy, Texas. She posted the highest score of the competition on the balance beam, winning the title with a score of 14.300, a performance she could still improve upon. Additionally, she executed a clean, full-twisting Yurchenko vault, scoring 13.250. These scores enabled her to qualify for nationals in the two events she competed in, leaving her with the opportunity to still qualify for the all-around at the upcoming Core Hydration Classic, like Gabby Douglas. Could her perseverance earn her a qualification to the 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships?

Jade Carey:

Jade Carey, the six-time world medalist, has had quite the journey leading up to the Core Hydration Classic 2024. After a disappointing 2023 season where she finished 15th in the all-around at the U.S. championships, Carey decided to make some changes. Following the 2023 season, Carey adjusted her training and competition plans for her collegiate season allowing her to better focus on her ultimate goal: the Paris 2024 Olympics.

At the 2024 American Classic, Carey showcased her skills once again. She claimed the all-around title with a total score of 55.000, securing the top spot. Her individual event scores were impressive: 14.200 on vault, 13.400 on uneven bars, 13.650 on balance beam, and 13.750 on floor exercise. Notably, she was the highest scorer on vault and floor and second on beam. Carey’s journey to the Core Hydration Classic 2024 shows her determination and ability to learn from and grow from past disappointments. She’s one to watch out for ahead of the Paris Olympics.

Jordan Chiles:

Jordan Chiles, representing the World Champions Center, had an eventful journey leading up to the 2024 Core Hydration Classic. In the 2023 gymnastics season, Chiles had her ups and downs. At the 2023 Core Hydration Classic, she finished in the 30th spot and at the 2023 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships in San Jose, California, Jordan Chiles performed exceptionally well, finishing in 5th place in the All-Around competition.

At the 2024 American Classic, Carey showcased her skills once again. She claimed the all-around title with a total score of 55.000, securing the top spot. Her individual event scores were impressive: 14.200 on vault, 13.400 on uneven bars, 13.650 on balance beam, and 13.750 on floor exercise. Notably, she was the highest scorer on vault and floor and second on beam. Carey’s journey to the Core Hydration Classic 2024 shows her determination and ability to learn from and grow from past disappointments. She’s one to watch out for ahead of the Paris Olympics.

Jordan Chiles:

Jordan Chiles, representing the World Champions Center, had an eventful journey leading up to the 2024 Core Hydration Classic. In the 2023 gymnastics season, Chiles had her ups and downs. At the 2023 Core Hydration Classic, she finished in the 30th spot and at the 2023 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships in San Jose, California, Jordan Chiles performed exceptionally well, finishing in 5th place in the All-Around competition.

Despite not being able to qualify for the World Championships, she made the roster for the 2023 Pan American Games held in Santiago. At the Pan American Games, Jordan showcased her talent by securing a gold medal with her team, a silver medal on vault, and a bronze medal in the all-around competition. Now, as she heads into the 2024 Core Hydration Classic, Chiles is undoubtedly focused and determined to continue her success in the sport.

Kayla DiCello:

Kayla DiCello, representing Boyds, Md., and training at Hill’s Gymnastics, has emerged as a rising star in the world of gymnastics. In 2023, she showcased her talent on both the national and international stages. DiCello played a crucial role as an alternate for the gold medal-winning U.S. team at the 2023 World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.

Her consistent performances continued into 2024, where she dominated the Winter Cup in Louisville, Kentucky, winning the all-around, uneven bars, and floor exercise titles and securing a bronze medal on the balance beam, solidifying her position as one of the top gymnasts in the United States and a strong contender aiming for the Paris Olympics.

Dulcy Caylor:

Dulcy Caylor’s journey into the senior level of gymnastics was not without its challenges. As a young athlete, the transition proved to be difficult, particularly during the 2023 US championships, where her performances fell short of expectations, leading to her exclusion from the world selection camp. However, rather than letting this setback define her, Caylor sought guidance from WCC coach, Cécile Landi, to understand where she could improve. In 2024, she began to make her presence felt on the national and international stage.

On the national front, Caylor demonstrated her skill and consistency at the 2024 Winter Cup in Louisville, Kentucky, finishing fifth in the all-around and placing seventh in both the uneven bars and balance beam. In her international representation on Team USA at the DTB Pokal Mixed Cup in Stuttgart, Germany, she was part of the first-place team and earned a gold medal in vault.

Earlier in the year, she also competed at the Jesolo Trophy in Italy, where she helped her team secure a third-place finish and also achieved top-ten individual placements in the all-around, uneven bars, and balance beam. Her performances reflect her potential to become a force to be reckoned with as she aims to join her WCC mentors Jordan Chiles, Simone Biles, and others on their journey in the Olympic year.

Shilese Jones:

In 2023, Shilese Jones, hailing from Auburn, Wash., and training at Ascend Gymnastics Center, emerged as a worthy challenger alongside the legendary Simone Biles. With impressive performances, Jones secured the U.S. uneven bars title, claimed silver in the all-around, and added bronze medals in floor exercise and balance beam at the Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships.

Her talent was further showcased on the international stage at the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp. She contributed significantly to the team’s gold medal victory, and also earned individual bronze medals in the all-around and uneven bars. As the 2024 Olympic year begins for her at the 2024 Core Hydration Classic, the question arises: Could Jones continue to provide the same level of contention for Biles, pushing her to even greater heights?

Joscelyn Roberson:

Joscelyn Roberson of the WCC has a stellar track record that includes numerous triumphs on both the national and international stages. In 2023 alone, she secured multiple victories, including being crowned U.S. vault champion and winning the vault title at the Winter Cup, along with silver medals in balance beam and floor exercise. Internationally she secured gold at the World Championships and her podium finishes at events like the Senior Pan American Championships, Cairo World Cup, and DTB Pokal Team Challenge.

However, in 2023, at the World Championships, during the warmup for the women’s team final, a misstep on her Cheng vault forced her to withdraw from the event. She returned to competition after a limited recovery from her injury, showcasing her strength on bars and beam at the 2024 American Classic, albeit with some mistakes. But her performances, scoring 12.650 on bars and 12.450 on beam, demonstrated her determination to regain full strength. As anticipation builds for the 2024 Core Hydration Classic, the question arises: Can Roberson once again rise to Olympic standards and deliver standout performances?

Leanne Wong:

Leanne Wong’s journey from 2023 to 2024 has been nothing short of impressive, marking her as a formidable contender poised to make her mark in the elite gymnastics scene. In 2023, she showcased her talent on both national and international stages, contributing to the U.S. team’s victory at the World Championships and earning a bronze medal in the all-around at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, where she scored 56.800 points.

Wong’s success continued into her collegiate career at the University of Florida, where she played a pivotal role in securing titles such as the NCAA uneven bars champion, and silver medals in the all-around and vault in 2024, respectively. Now, as she sets her sights on the elite 2024 season and eyes a spot at the Olympics, Wong’s blazing performance in the 2024 NCAA season positions her as one to watch. With her exceptional skills and proven track record, she is poised to make a splash at the 2024 Core Hydration Classic and the 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships.

Trinity Thomas:

Trinity Thomas has consistently proven herself as a standout gymnast, with her journey from 2023 to 2024 marked by notable achievements and unwavering dedication. In 2023, she continued to shine both nationally and collegiately, contributing to the success of the University of Florida’s gymnastics team. As she transitioned into 2024, Thomas maintained her momentum, securing a silver medal on the uneven bars at the Winter Cup in Louisville, Kentucky.

Her flawless routine earned her an impressive score, further solidifying her reputation as a formidable competitor. Additionally, Thomas displayed her versatility by finishing fourth in the all-around, showcasing her proficiency across multiple disciplines.  Just like the 2024 Winter Cup, she might just surprise fans at the 2024 Core Hydration with her talent.

Tiana Sumanasekera:

Tiana Sumanasekera’s journey leading up to the 2024 Core Hydration Classic has been marked by steady progress and notable achievements. In 2023, representing the World Champions Centre under the guidance of head coaches Cecile and Laurent Landi, she showcased her talent both nationally and internationally. Transitioning into 2024, she represented her country at the Jesolo Trophy, where she contributed to a third-place team finish and placed sixth in floor exercise and eighth in the all-around.

Under the tutelage of the same coaches who have guided Simone Biles to greatness, Sumanasekera’s trajectory is promising. With her dedication and skill, the question arises: will she be able to join her WCC phenom counterpart at the 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships?

Hezly Rivera:

Hezly Rivera’s journey from her junior years to competing against Olympians has been nothing short of remarkable. As a junior competitor in 2023, representing WOGA Gymnastics, Rivera made her mark with impressive performances at national competitions like the Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships and the Winter Cup.

Transitioning into the senior level in 2024, Rivera continued to excel, competing alongside seasoned Olympians at prestigious events like the Winter Cup and the Jesolo Trophy. At the Winter Cup in Louisville, Kentucky, she displayed her prowess by claiming the balance beam title and securing bronze medals in the all-around and floor exercise. Now, as Rivera gears up for the 2024 Core Hydration Classic, her journey as a junior standout has prepared her well for the challenges ahead to reach her Olympic potential.

Addison Fatta:

Addison Fatta’s journey from 2023 to 2024 has been characterized by consistent performances and notable achievements, showcasing her talent and potential on both national and international stages. As Fatta transitions into 2024, her performances continue to impress. At the American Classic in Katy, Texas, she secured second place on the uneven bars with a score of 13.900.

Her success carried over to the Winter Cup in Louisville, Kentucky, where she finished fourth on the uneven bars and sixth in the all-around, with scores of 13.750 and 53.600, respectively. Her strong showing at both national and international competitions positions her as a bright prospect for the 2024 Core Hydration Classic.

Katelyn Jong:

On Team USA’s gymnastics roster, Katelyn Jong, representing Metroplex Gymnastics, has set off on a journey marked by consistent dedication and notable achievements. Throughout 2023, Jong made her presence felt at both national and international competitions. As Jong transitions into 2024, her trajectory remains promising.

At the Winter Cup in Louisville, Kentucky, she displayed her talent on the uneven bars, securing the bronze medal with a commendable performance. Her success at both national and international levels positions her as a strong contender for the 2024 Core Hydration Classic. With a roster boasting such remarkable talent, the anticipation surrounding the 2024 Core Hydration Classic is palpable. Among the 50 senior women registered, each name represents a story of dedication, resilience, and sheer excellence.

In less than 24 hours, the gymnastics world will be abuzz with the return of Simone Biles as she makes her season debut in her fourth Olympic cycle. The stage is set in Hartford, Connecticut, at the 2024 Core Hydration Classic, where all eyes will be on Olympic all-around gold medalists Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, and Sunisa Lee—champions of London 2012, Rio 2016, and Tokyo 2020, respectively—who have contributed to the five-Olympic streak of American dominance.

This event marks the first competition in nearly eight years where Biles and Douglas will face off, rekindling memories of their last clash at the 2016 Rio Olympics. As we await the Clash of Titans, let’s delve into their last face-off eight years ago and revisit the intense competition that set the stage for their storied relationship.

According to USA Gymnastics, the women’s competition at the 2016 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team trials marked the last time Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas faced off against each other. Scheduled from July 8 to 10 at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, this event was crucial in determining the athletes who would represent the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Simone Biles shone brightly, continuing her dominance in women’s gymnastics. She secured first place in the all-around competition with impressive scores across all apparatuses, taking gold in the vault and floor exercise. Her overall score of 123.250 solidified her position as the top gymnast in the U.S. On the other hand, Gabby Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around champion, finished seventh overall with a score of 117.450.

Despite not ranking as high, her experience and previous Olympic success earned her a spot on the team. The “Final Five,” consisting of Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, and Gabby Douglas, were selected to represent the United States at the Rio Olympics. Their selection was based on stellar performances at the trials, with Biles, Raisman, and Hernandez securing the top three spots in the all-around competition.

Simone Biles’s dominant performance and the strategic selection of the “Final Five” set the stage for a successful Olympic campaign, where the team won the gold medal in the team event, the third in U.S. history. Biles went on to win individual gold medals in the all-around, vault, and floor exercise, and a bronze on the balance beam.

MyKayla Skinner, Ragan Smith, and Ashton Locklear were selected as alternates. This last clash on home soil highlighted the passing of the torch from one champion to another and set the stage for Biles’s historic achievements in Rio. Interestingly, despite their sometimes strained relationship, Simone Biles was inspired by Gabby Douglas to pursue gymnastics.

How was Biles inspired by Douglas?

Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas have had a strained relationship since the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, despite their differences, Biles has acknowledged the inspiration she drew from Douglas. Watching Gabby become the first African American to win an all-around Olympic medal stirred a desire in Biles to become an Olympian too.

She once shared, “Growing up, I didn’t see very many Black gymnasts… So whenever I did, I felt really inspired to go out there and want to be as good as them. I remember watching Gabby Douglas win the 2012 Olympics, and I was like, If she can do it, I can do it.” The 2024 Core Hydration Classic will not only highlight their paths crossing again but also the dynamics they share.

Simone Biles is on her quest for glory at the Paris Olympics 2024 after her mishap in Tokyo. In a bid to refine her performance, Biles has turned to a strategic partnership with Frenchman Gregory Milan. He is a friend of Simone Biles’ coach Landi. Milan is often seen in training sessions with Landi’s other trainees.

With her sights on gold, Biles looks to Milan for guidance in honing her skills and conquering Olympic challenges. Together, their collaboration promises an exciting journey toward Olympic greatness in the City of Light. Let’s delve into the details of this alliance, exploring how their combined efforts are shaping Biles’ path to victory.

In a recent post on X by FX Choreo, Simone Biles is seen practicing her graceful and arduous routine ahead of the Paris Olympics. The caption reads, “Gregory Milan also worked with Simone Biles for her floor and beam choreographies!” She is being helped by the French choreography artist ahead of the big games. Milan, who has closely worked with gymnasts to develop their choreographies, has also assisted the French women’s gymnastics team leading to their gold in Portimao. In the X video, Milan is seen accompanying Biles on the floor, twirling and lifting her as she stretches out her feet with pointed toes.

Earlier, Biles had shared a post thanking Milan for helping her with her beam and floor choreography and wished him a happy birthday. Biles even shared another post praising the man, “Your energy is electric,” and, “everyone needs a greguito in their life!!! we always have the best time!” Milan was also seen with Cecile Landi’s trainee Melanie Santos practicing a floor choreo this year.

Speaking about his involvement in gymnastics, Milan had once said, “Since I didn’t come from gymnastics, people didn’t trust me at first, even though dance and gymnastics share very high standards.” However, Landi seems to trust him wholeheartedly as he often develops gymnastics routines alongside her trainees. It is likely that Gregory Milan will be helping Simone Biles develop her beam and floor routine for the Paris Games in August as well.

Simone Biles and her coaches Cecile and Laurent Landi are taking a different route this time as the gymnast returns to the Olympic stage post her “twisties.” The focus is primarily on Biles’ mental health and being in tune with her body. She has been attending therapy weekly and is prioritizing maintaining a top-notch training routine. On “All Things Gymnastics” podcast, Landi said, “She’s [Simone] really in tune with how she’s feeling mentally and physically, speaking up about it” adding, “It’s [therapy] an escape and it’s also what helps her continue what she’s doing.” If anything, Biles’ performances recently speak for themselves.

She won the national all-around title in the 2023 World Championships in Belgium after a two-year hiatus. Biles also performed a Yurchenko double pike vault, a feat never before done by a woman in competition. She is hoping for a spot on the US gymnastics women’s team next. Though we are all waiting for the trials to know for sure whether Biles will be a part of Paris, she strongly hinted that is her goal. In an interview with TODAY, she said, “I would say that’s the path I would love to go, so I wouldn’t mind if you put it in the ‘yay’ section.” At present Biles is preparing for various competitions like the Core Hydration Classic, U.S. Gymnastics Championships, and U.S. Olympic Trials, which will determine her spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

 

The Core Hydration Classic 2024 made history even before raising its curtains. The event will be the first time in history that a gymnastics competition will witness three Olympic all-around gold medalists face each other. Gabby Douglas (2012), Simone Biles (2016), and Suni Lee (2021) will set out to further their legacy in elite gymnastics. Among these veterans, the meet is especially crucial for Gabby Douglas, who is on her way to bringing back her golden era after a long hiatus.

But before jumping into such a show of gymnastics, Gabby Douglas had to face a stumble on her journey to the venue for a reason beyond her control. In her latest IG story, Douglas displayed a worried face, giving out the reason that kept her thinking about the rest of her journey to Hartford. Her flight from Dallas to Hartford, a journey of some 1600 miles, got canceled because of a tornado.

She informed, “flight got cancelled and now stuck in dallas [emoji] help!!!!!” Tensions are already flying in the air, given the importance of the meet. The 2024 Core Hydration Classic starts the process of crafting the 2024 Olympic Team for the USA. It is the final opportunity for the elite artistic gymnasts to qualify for the 2024 Xfinity U.S. Championships from May 30-June 2 in Fort Worth, Texas. But, was she able to fly out?

It was reported that the 28-year-old gymnast’s mother called her agent to arrange for a seat on a private jet. She was lucky enough to get one and arrived in Hartford on Friday for her training session. At the championships, the selection committee will choose the National Team roster that will compete at the Olympic Trials June 27-30 in Minneapolis. Understandably, For Gabby, the 2024 Core Hydration can serve as a prelude to what she might face in the upcoming Paris Olympics. However, for Douglas, arriving at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut was an uphill battle altogether.

Oh, my goodness. It was a whole thing. [My flight] got pushed from 7 to 9 to 11 to cancelled,” she stated, giving details about her strife at the Dallas airport. “We go to the desk and she’s like, ‘Well, there’s nothing until Saturday like noon.’ I was like, ‘I’m going to miss the podium.” But, she was able to arrive the ‘Constitution State’ on time with the help of a private jet of her mother’s acquaintance. Now, as Douglas reached the XL Center in just a nick of time, she is all set to assert a staunch competition to her compatriots.

To make the competition top-notch, Tokyo Olympic floor champion and 2022 World Championships vault gold medalist Jade Carey is coming off of wins in the all-around and on the floor at the American Classic on April 27 as she returns to elite form. Alongside, six-time World Championships medalist Shilese Jones, three-time World medalist Leanne Wong, and Olympic and World medalist Jordan Chiles are all set to make their 2024 elite debuts in Hartford.

If these are not enough, World team champions Joscelyn Roberson, Lexi Zeiss Kayla DiCello, and Pan Am floor and team champion Kaliya Lincoln will also be there for a wholesome competition. Taking all these together, it is safe to say that almost all the big names from current American female gymnastic grain will show up in the Core Hydration. So, competing with such names may make Gabby Douglas game-ready for Paris.

Furthermore, after a defeat by Jade Carey in the American Classic this year, Core Hydration will give Gabby a chance to settle the score against the Tokyo Olympic gold medalist. Alongside, the Core Hydration will be her probable last chance to qualify for the US Olympic trials. But is she sufficiently ready to contest against the likes of Simone Biles?

Simone Biles felt inspired when she saw Douglas win 2012 Olympics

After the 2012 Olympic all-around gold, Gabby Douglas became the poster girl and the first Black woman gymnast to win such a laurel. Simone Biles followed the same route in 2013 winning the World Gymnastics Championships, defeating Gabby’s teammate in the 2012 London Olympics, Kyla Ross. Since then, Gabby Douglas has had Simone Biles in the same bracket rousing the inspiration among the colored girls who could have never thought of reigning in a sport that outrightly saw less than 10% participation from such communities.

However, in 2016, Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles faced each other several times. In the 2016 US Nationals, Simone Biles had the upper hand over Gabby Douglas, being the champion. The last time the two faced off each other was at the 2016 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team trials. Simone secured first place in the all-around competition with impressive scores in every routine, taking gold in the vault and floor exercise. Her overall score of 123.250 solidified her position as the top gymnast in the U.S.

On the other hand, Gabby Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around champion, finished seventh overall with a score of 117.450. Eventually, both qualified for Rio, representing the “Final Five,” alongside Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian. Simone’s smashing performance in Rio sealed her position in the topmost echelon of elite gymnastics. But that very occasion saw a tone of discontent between her and Gabby.

In Rio, after Simone clinched the all-around gold medal, the stadium roared to congratulate her while her teammates also stood up to do their bits. But Gabby remained seated, only with a smile on her face. That fanned the anticipation of a probable rift between the two. It once again came to the fore in the following year.

It was when their Rio teammate, Aly Raisman faced some abusive comments. In a now-deleted tweet, Gabby noted, “It is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy.” Simone instantly stood up to counter that saying, “Honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her.” However, the rivalry never descended to the mats after 2016.

Gabby hibernated completely after the Rio Olympics, only to resume her gymnastic practice in 2022. Her competitive gymnastics stint started this season after an 8-year hiatus. She had a load of logic to back her late return simultaneously. “I took a break from 2016 until 2022 and after watching a good friend competing, I just missed it, I had a rough go at the 2016 Olympics, but I never wanted to end my career on a bad note,” Gabby Douglas stated.

Meanwhile, Simone Biles took over the reign almost entirely, motivating the colored communities, and crossing a larger distance. However, both the gymnasts have had their complicated past and reasons to stand again and again. Interestingly, despite a strained relationship with Gabby, Simone was clear about drawing inspiration from the former.

Growing up, I didn’t see very many Black gymnasts… So whenever I did, I felt really inspired to go out there and want to be as good as them. I remember watching Gabby Douglas win the 2012 Olympics, and I was like, If she can do it, I can do it,” Simone had said once. Now, when Simone Biles is already sprinting ahead, what will be Gabby Douglas’ approach? The Core Hydration Classic is waiting to witness that.

The awareness regarding mental health issues in sports was before the Tokyo Olympics as well. However, Simone Biles bowing out from the 2021 Olympics because of her ‘twisties’ (a rare situation when body and mind are not in sync while trying high-level elements) added a voice to it. At the time, several athletes backed her decision to move out of the Olympic village.

One such support came from Alex Bowen, a Team USA member from the men’s water polo team. In his acknowledgment, the athlete said, “To be able to overcome your own ego and step aside, that’s huge.” Once again, Simone Biles has received similar cheering for her stand in the Tokyo Olympics, but this time, it has come from one of her opponents in the 2021 Games. But the context remains the same – Olympic participation with a notwithstanding mental state.

Italian gymnast Vanessa Ferrari is on her fifth Olympic endeavor, eyeing a fitting end to her career through an achievement from the Parisian contest. Even so, with such a goal in mind, she can side with her mental well-being if there comes any question regarding it, defying her target. In her recent conversation with the Olympics. com, the veteran informed, “I want to be competitive. I am the first to say that if I am not in the right form, I do not want to go.” Surprisingly, Vanessa Ferrari can think of taking such a step after getting inspired by Simone Biles in the Tokyo Olympics. There remains a riveting backstory.

In the Tokyo Olympics, Vanessa Ferrari defeated Simone Biles in the qualification round of floor exercise. But she remained sympathetic when Simone informed her about the decision to withdraw from the contest. However, Vanessa Ferrari had supported Simone Biles’ step then.

Furthermore, after equalizing her status with the American opponent, Vanessa elaborated, “If you struggle with disorientation in the air, it can be very scary.” Eventually, in the same floor exercise in Tokyo, Ferrari achieved her target to earn an Olympic medal. Three years later, she is putting effort into changing her medal color. But on the question of mental state, she stands firm on her Paris Olympics participation. But what did Simone Biles carry out in Tokyo that even after these years her stand echoes in the annals of sports?

The issues keep repeating despite brave standings 

Before Simone Biles could speak out about the niggling mental state in continuing the sports, Micheal Phelps put a volume on it in the 2020 documentary The Weight of Gold. The most decorated Olympian had blamed the excessive pressure of expectations from the fans that harmed. The same tone echoed in Japanese gymnast, Mai Murakami’s statement, who felt evaporated despite winning the bronze medal in Tokyo, fearing the criticism from her countrymen. However, Simone jotted down these points and proved that athletes are “still human.”

Talking about the criticism part, Simone Biles grieved over the fact of coming under public scrutiny bearing the mountainous pressure of being the face of the nation in high-level competitions. Protesting such condemnation, she said, “People have no idea what is going on behind the scenes, and just judge us from our social media.” In her conversation in the Call Her Daddy podcast as well, Simone Biles described the public criticism part in length.

Simone Biles was expected to bring another gold medal from the Olympics. But her exit from the game might not have been received positively. “I thought I was gonna be banned from America. Because that’s what they tell you; don’t come back. If it’s not gold, gold or bust, don’t come back,”  she described in that podcast. This part remains the same.

While measuring her path to the Paris Olympics, Vanessa Ferrari is fighting with her age, physical boundaries, and form. These factors are competent enough to harm the confidence level that may double the pressure from expectations of representing the country. Now, as the Paris Olympics occasion is inching closer, Vanessa may prefer fewer issues with mental health.

Did you know that Simone Biles takes a half-point deduction each time she has performed the Yurchenko double pike? With the Paris Olympics coming closer, all eyes are on Biles. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was a sad outing for her that resulted in a 2-year hiatus owing to Biles’ mental health struggles. But the tides seem to have risen now as Biles has already taken her first step toward redemption.

Competing at the 2023 US Classics, the gymnastics queen displayed her prowess to clinch the all-around gold. Going forward, several questions remain unanswered. One of them is will Simone Biles stick to her Chenko Double Pike going into Paris. Or will she focus on the Amanar as was spotted earlier inside her gym?

While the Chenko Double Pike might earn her more points, the risk element involved is extremely high. This was an area of concern that was raised recently by none other than Cecile Landi, Simone Biles’ coach.

Whenever Biles performed the Yurchenko double pike, the judges hardly found any errors when she dived on the table and flipped in the air. This was the fifth skill to be named after her (one on the balance beam, two on the floor exercise, and two on the vault). But her most significant deduction comes on the landing. That is because Laurent Landi stands on the mat when Biles lands during the risky vault.

Sitting down in a Spotify podcast, Cecile Landi opened up about this bizarre rule that she did not like. Speaking about how Simone Biles wants to perfect her Chenko Double Pike, Cecile stated that the fact Laurent Landi could not be present made no sense. Expressing her anger, Cecile stated, “Yeah, it’s, it’s such a dumb deduction too. Like honestly when you see on bars the coaches and they’re doing hint signal and stuff and this and then you can’t have anybody on a vault like this or even on a vem dismount, I’m sorry. It would’ve saved maybe a few concussions and injuries if people were able to stay.

Even Chellsie Memmel, the technical lead of the U.S. high-performance staff, also felt that Biles should have Landi by her side during the landing and said, “My personal opinion is that he should be able to stand there.”

For those who are unaware, the rule does not permit a coach to be close to a gymnast during a vault routine. Otherwise, the athlete would be subjected to a points deduction. To avoid any such situations in the Olympics, Simone Biles is hellbent on not having Laurent Landi on the mat while she practices the Chenko Double Pike.

This decision came after Biles, in the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships last year, voluntarily took a half-point deduction so coach Landi could stand on the mat as a precaution as she nailed the Yurchenko.

Even the president of the women’s technical committee, Donatella Sacchi mentioned, “We are not going to change any rule before the Olympic Games.” Usually, the Code of Points book is updated for each Olympic cycle. But, as the Paris Games is just around the corner, there has been no update on this. If at all there is a change in the rule, it would benefit Biles in continuing the challenging vault.

Cecile also justified her opinion by saying that a deduction would have made sense if there was physical help. For example, if Laurent would touch Biles and help her with her routine, there was every reason for points to be deducted. However, a coach being present merely to keep a check on the safety and well-being of his gymnasts should be permitted according to Cecile.

Simone Biles’ Chenko Double Pike gets a 6+ difficulty

According to the International Gymnastics Federation, Simone Biles’ Yurchenko Double Pike is quite a difficult routine. In fact, the complications involved are so high that it was awarded a 6.4 difficulty score. To give context, the iconic Produnova vault has a difficulty score of 6. Biles’ previous routine, the eponymous vault is also rated as a 6.

Till the 2022 World Championships, the most difficult vault performed had a difficulty rating of 5.6. Such a rating did come as a surprise to Simone Biles as well. While it was expected that the routine would be valued around the 6s, it was quite a pleasant revelation that it got .4 more than the current difficult ones.

“With 6.6 being the highest Difficulty score that a gymnast can currently obtain on this apparatus, Biles’s new vault has no comparison in the Women’s Code of Points,” a FIG statement read after the element was submitted for 2020 Tokyo. “The Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Technical Committee used the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Code of Points as a reference to determine the value this vault should have.”

The University of Georgia recently recruited Cécile Canqueteau-Landi, Simone Biles’s longtime personal coach. Canqueteau-Landi, a 1996 Olympian and veteran coach, started working with Biles in late 2017 with her husband Laurent at the Biles family-owned World Champions Centre in Texas. Together, the Landis helped Biles win two Olympic and 16 World Championships medals on international mats.

The Landis provided Biles with the physical challenge and motivation she required following the Tokyo ‘twisties’ incident to redefine herself as a trailblazer in the sport. Biles is currently preparing to make the five-woman American Olympic team heading to Paris for the Summer Olympics. In talks about her fresh position, Cecile shared some of Biles’s list of maneuvers for the next gymnastics meets.

Cecile Landi talked about the ever-expanding arsenal of signature moves that 27-year-old Simone Biles will have for the 2024 season. After performing the iconic Yurchenko double pike in 2023, Biles gained recognition for it as her fifth named move fresh off a long hiatus. Discussing Biles’ options in All Things Gymnastics Podcast dated May 13, Cecile Landi told the host, “Right now she’s doing more of the double pike. I think she just wants to do it without Lauren standing on her by the side. She’s ready for it.” 

Landi also added, “The Amara is easy for her and it’s back and then the Chang and the, the bars one I can’t remember. She’s practiced that too. So you know she has a couple options.” The host then hilariously added, “Yeah, no one has more options than Simone.” To which Cecile confirmed possibly with great pride, “For sure!”

Raising the bar: How Biles revolutionized vaulting with daring feats

Notably, the most dangerous and adrenaline-rushing moves in artistic gymnastics are Cheng, The Biles, Amanar, Biles II, and Full Twisting Yurchenkois. These feats performed by female gymnasts include upside-down twisting from the vaulting table and hurling down the runway making vault routine scores so hard-earned.

Biles’s ground-breaking Yurchenko Double Pike Vault, which became her second vault named move, earned her a score of 16.100 at the US Classic of 2021. The score surpassed both of her vaults that won gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics. At the 2023 World Championship, she became the first female vaulter to land the technique at an event sanctioned by the International Gymnastics Federation. It’s now known as “Biles II” in the FIG Code of Points.

Possibly the most crucial vault in women’s gymnastics is the Amanar. When it comes to winning gymnastics twists, Team US has easily outperformed all other teams throughout history. At 4 feet 8 inches, Biles stunned the 2015 US nationals with her humanly perfect Amanar vault which earned her 16.000. Biles got 15.150 on her second vault and placed first in the event with an average of 15.575.

From the boundary-pushing to Simone Biles’s habit of producing “leap-forward” moments—the characteristic of once-in-a-generation talent—is what sets Biles apart. May 2024 US Classic is where Biles will make her Olympic season debut; tune in to witness the greatest maneuvers on shows!

Simone Biles is back. The US Classics, or Core Hydration Classics, will be underway on May 18 this year. It started in 1983 as an annual event for elite artistic gymnastics from across the United States. This competition holds paramount importance for all the participants as it is held right before the national trials. Any slip-ups for the athletes mean costing themselves a place in the national squad.

However, in cases like 2024, when it is the Olympic year, the magnitude of the event becomes even bigger. Athletes performing well have a chance of breaking into the Olympic trials. And come May 18, athletes like Simone Biles will finally make their season’s debut after a long wait. But to catch the US gymnastics queen in action, it is imperative to know the details of how to watch the event.

This year’s Core Hydration Classic will be held in Hartford, Connecticut. Initially, there was a lot of discontent among the fans about why the gymnastics events were not televised. But now they should have a big smile on their faces as the event will be televised live on Peacock and CNBC.

According to the official sources, this year’s Classics will air from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET. Live streaming of the same will also be available for subscribers to NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. In case a fan wants to catch all the action outside of the USA, a VPN could come in handy.

However, for those wanting to feel the thrill live from the stadium, tickets are available via the Ticketmaster app. As the hype about the Classics is soaring, the major attraction for the competition will be the much-awaited debut of Simone Biles. Coming into the tournament, the US gymnast is the favorite to win the Classics. Biles has previously established her dominance in the US Classics by clinching the title six times.

Apart from Biles, there will be other notable names, giving her tough competition as well. The likes of Suni Lee, Gabby Douglas, Jade Carey, and Jordan Chiles will also fight it out for a spot in Paris.

Biles aims to put behind her past demons

Simone Biles was verified and confirmed for the camp in April. However, she decided not to show up before the camera until the US Classics. A lot of speculation has surfaced regarding when she will be opening her Olympic season. Many people opined that the Winter Cup would witness Biles’ return, but it was not to be. Biles always starts her season a little late.

Speaking about her sporadic appearances, Biles commented back in 2023, “Sorry I’ve been a little MIA since the announcement . I’m overwhelmed with all of your messages, support & love! excited to get back out on the competition floor! XOXO ” 

Going into the US Classics, Simone Biles will be utterly focused on cracking the Olympic code this time. She did redeem herself by winning last year’s Classics. Revealing her Paris roadmap, Biles said, “I think we have to be a little bit more cautious about how we do things. So everything that we’re doing leading up to this next Games or whatever is very intentional.”

The Tokyo Olympics was deemed cursed. Simone Biles suffered a deep personal crisis—something that demanded patience; patience to heal from not holding “a lot of guilt that is not mine to hold.” Beaten and battered with insults calling her a “national embarrassment,” far from being a quitter, Biles rose herself from the ashes at the Met Gala 2021—shining brighter than the crystals on her dress or leotards and dancing her way through the red carpet in a gown graced with ostrich plumes.

Much can be owed to the fact that, in April 2021, the seven-time Olympics medalist signed up with the Gap-owned company, Athleta. This decision worked in her favor as the deal opened up opportunities and better platforms for Simone Biles. Biles’s Met Gala debut, who attended as Athleta’s guest, too was powered by the brand. But it wasn’t just usual business for her at the Gala; Biles had her own agenda.

Set against the backdrop of In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, the 2021 Met Gala primed the sports world for the much-awaited glimpse of Simone Biles. In the middle of the flash and splendor of the moment, Biles, styled by Leslie Fremar, stood as a symbol of power and resilience following her double medal exploits in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and most importantly, the backlash after her unanticipated exit. Now, Biles and Fremar coming together to create her silver-trail Area x Athleta gown couldn’t have been more timely.

The statement? It will certainly take you back to the early and mid-20th century. Josephine Baker, an American-born French burlesque dancer, is deemed one of the very first black women who starred in a major film. An advocate for civil rights, Baker used her popularity and fame to good use, a great nod to something similar that Biles is keen on doing. In fact, when Biles initially signed up with Athleta, Biles then said, Using my voice has been very empowering for me, and I am grateful to embark on this new journey with Athleta to inspire young girls and women.”

Simone Biles told Vogue, I personally don’t think anybody’s dress is gonna be better than mine…I’m sure everyone feels like that going in, but this is going to be a statement.”She walked in firing on all cylinders sartorially, the same way she does on the mats.

I want to say to little girls in general, you can be tough in any sport you want to be, and you can be strong. On the other end you can come out feeling empowered and beautiful and wear gowns like this and step out of your comfort zone,” she said. “You don’t have to be just an athlete; at the end of the day we’re people too.

Over 100 workers put in 6,650 hours to carefully sew and embellish the three pieces of apparel, which guaranteed Biles’ comfort and ease of movement throughout the evening. The outfit was a perfect combination of elegance and utility since it was made to be simple to take off the minidress and separate the skirt. In addition to highlighting the value of strength and empowerment outside of the realm of sports, Biles expressed her hope that the outfit will encourage young girls to follow their passion boldly. Most of these qualities were lacking while Biles served as a Nike athlete.

The switch by Simone Biles from Nike to Athleta was symbolic of a larger trend in which athletes gave priority to companies that shared their beliefs and promoted solidarity and inclusion. Although Nike has long dominated the sponsorship scene with its financial might, incidents involving the company’s treatment of female athletes and sponsored athletes have long undermined its righteous image. As part of their advocacy, Olympic champions Biles and Allyson Felix, among others, chose to sign with Athleta, a brand that has been serving both of them well as opposed to Nike.

Biles also highlighted how Athleta and her 2021 Met Gala appearance was inspiring for women athletes. She said, “I want to say to little girls in general, you can be tough in any sport you want to be, and you can be strong. On the other end, you can come out feeling empowered and beautiful and wear gowns like this and step out of your comfort zone.” One thing’s for sure though, Athleta has made good on its promise and Biles is sure to put all her faith into this behemoth brand being the cradle of her life’s choices.

USA Gymnastics are gearing up for the Olympics and they are not short of protein. As per the recent announcement, the leading peanut butter brand in the US, SKIPPY, has joined hands with the US Gymnastics. They have been named as the official peanut butter partner of the USAG ahead of the Paris Olympics. According to the details of the deal, SKIPPY would be in charge of refueling the energy levels of the young athletes.

SKIPPY will be providing their products to the gymnasts at their national camps and major tournaments. However, their activities will not only be limited to providing snacks for the athletes. In fact, the team from SKIPPY will collaborate and take up various measures to promote gymnastics as a sport on various platforms.

Welcoming the brand with open arms, USA Gymnastics seemed excited to work together with SKIPPY, whose parent brand, Hormel Foods, boasts more than $19 billion. Reflecting similar emotions, the Chief Operating Officer of the USAG, Lauryn Turner, stated, We are very excited to welcome SKIPPY® peanut butter as our official peanut butter.” Further elaborating on their decision to get the peanut butter brand onboard, Turner explained the need for protein for the young guns. He said, “Protein is critically important to athletes’ training and aids in recovery after workouts, and SKIPPY® peanut butter is a great snack for athletes of all levels to enjoy.” 

However, it was not only the USAG that seemed gleeful, representatives from SKIPPY also shared their thrill to be a part of the journey. Associate Brand Manager Sam Hovick cited the gymnasts’ ability to grab a quick break in between the strenuous routine as their inspiration for developing their products. Narrating his own experience with SKIPPY, Senior Manager Kelsey Tynan said, I grew up in the USAG program, and SKIPPY® Peanut Butter is what fueled me through numerous practices.” 

Tynan also said that SKIPPY would try their best to provide top-class nourishment for the athletes on their journey towards greatness. With such hype around the new collab, fans had a lot to say about the deal.

Gymnastics fans give their two cents on the SKIPPY-USAG collab

The announcement on X immediately went viral. Gymnastics enthusiasts from all over the USA chimed in with their sentiments.

One of the X users suggested a humorous award for the winners of the Classics. They suggested a “large jar of peanut butter” as the award. This would likely add a whimsical twist on traditional awards, adding a quirky and unexpected element to the event.

One fan expressed their excitement about the snacks that will be available at meets this summer. With great enthusiasm, they probably referred to the peanut butter that might be available in the event and to be honest, no amount of peanut butter has done anyone any harm, apart from smacking their lips in delight and awe.

One Gymnastics enthusiast jokingly expressed a strong desire for free peanut butter. They mentioned that if upon entering the XL Center in the coming weekend they don’t get free peanut butter they would ‘riot’. This collab might just be the much needed godsend to fuel peanut butter sales and bolster gymnasts and the audiences to roar and perform in rapture.

One X user expressed their enthusiasm for this collaboration. Citing the reason behind their inclination towards this brand, they mentioned that Skippy is their “Absolute favorite brand”. As the Skippy Peanut butter contains only natural ingredients and no soy, which makes it all the more delectable and a fan favorite compared to the other brands out there.

The excitement of Skippy Peanut butter partnering with USA Gymnastics convinced one of the fans to pursue gymnastics seriously. Their love and affinity towards the brand is remarkably high as one user noted that if peanut butter is the incentive to drive dreams, then she would definitely become a gymnast, as was hinted by the post.

The excitement of Skippy Peanut butter partnering with USA Gymnastics convinced one of the fans to pursue gymnastics seriously. Their love and affinity towards the brand is remarkably high as one user noted that if peanut butter is the incentive to drive dreams, then she would definitely become a gymnast, as was hinted by the post.