Simone Biles, the celebrated US gymnast, expressed her strong desire to pursue additional gold medals at the 2024 Paris Olympics as her comeback gains momentum. Biles made this declaration during an interview on NBC’s Today show, marking the first time she officially confirmed her intentions for the Paris Games since returning from a two-year hiatus.
In August, Biles showcased her remarkable skills, reminiscent of her prime, in two competitions. She executed her signature move, the Yurchenko double pike, flawlessly, a vault so challenging that no other female gymnast has attempted it in competition. Her exceptional performance secured her an unprecedented eighth US all-around title at the national championships, positioning her for potential success at the upcoming World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, scheduled for September 30 to October 8.
Up until this point, Biles had been cautious about revealing her competitive aspirations, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a balance between her sporting career and personal life.
Biles, who is now 26 years old, was once a dominant force in the sport, aiming to defend the four gold medals she earned at the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, she had to withdraw from most of her events during the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games in 2021 due to a perilous condition known as the “twisties,” which causes gymnasts to lose their sense of spatial awareness mid-air.
Her decision to prioritize her mental health and step back from competition was widely praised as a groundbreaking moment for discussions about mental well-being in elite sports. Biles reiterated on Thursday that, as she looks ahead to Paris, her focus remains steadfast on her mental health.
“I believe I need to prioritize self-care and listen to my body more,” she shared regarding her transformation as a gymnast. “Ensuring that I allocate time for the meaningful aspects of my life, rather than the previous ‘go, go, go’ approach followed by finding time afterward.”
She continued, “This time around, it’s about intentionality, seeking therapy, and aligning everything to ensure peak performance in the gym while also being a devoted wife, daughter, and friend – all the important roles,” Biles added. In April, she tied the knot with Jonathan Owens, a safety for the Green Bay Packers.