Simone Biles won her eighth all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships Sunday, a full decade after she secured her first win as a teenage prodigy.
Biles, now 26, became the oldest woman to win the championship after finishing 3.9 points ahead of runner-up Shilese Jones.
Her latest win breaks a 90-year-old record she shared with Alfred Jochim, who won his seventh all-around title in 1933.
The gymnast star’s return to the mat follows a two-year hiatus after she pulled out of several events during the 2021 Tokyo Olympic citing the twisties – a mental block causing gymnasts to lose track of their position as they tumble through the air.
This time around there is no indication of the twisties.
“I think it feels really special,” she told NBC. “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 (routines). … I guess it’s a lucky number this year.”
This time around Biles has a different approach to training and competing. Rather than constantly looking ahead to the next competition, she’s focusing on the present and spending time celebrating her wins.
“We really try to celebrate our success individually and as a team just so that in a couple of years you can remember this,” she said. “Because I really don’t remember a lot from the past.”
While Biles has shared glimpses into her training, she’s yet to confirm whether she plans to compete in the Paris Olympics.
“I like to keep (my goals) personal just so that I know what I am aiming for,” the 26-year-old said. “I’m trying to move a little bit differently this year than I have in the past. So I think it’s working so far, so I’m gonna keep it a little bit secretive.”
“I’m in the moment, but it also doesn’t feel real for some reason,” she said. “I just seriously can’t believe I’m out here competing again. I just really can’t. So I’m proud of myself for that.”
Simone Biles is the greatest of all time. It is not up for debate. We really hope to see her compete in next year’s Olympics.