Mark your calendars for early August 2024. That’s when Simone Biles hopes to make her grand return to Olympic competition.
Biles, the greatest women’s gymnast of all-time, told Hoda Kotb on Thursday morning’s edition of “Today” that if Kotb were to wager $5 on whether she’s planning on returning to Olympic competition when the Games come to Paris in 2024, it wouldn’t be a bad bet.
“Right now, 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,” Biles said.
Biles, 26, had planned to compete fully in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (which were held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). But once she got there and started practicing, she experienced something every gymnast dreads: the twisties.
The twisties is when a gymnast loses track of the ground when they’re flying through the air, and despite it’s cutesy name, it’s a serious problem. If a gymnast loses track of the ground while in the air, they have no idea when to land, safely or otherwise. It’s a psychological issue that can cause serious injuries, and Biles chose to withdraw from both the team competition and the individual all-around competition to focus on her mental health. She still won a silver medal as part of the team competition, and an individual bronze medal on the balance beam.
Biles doesn’t need another Olympics to make her the undisputed GOAT of women’s gymnastics and one of the greatest athletes who has ever lived. But after how the 2020 Tokyo Olympics went for her, she seems to want another chance to get it right and participate in the Olympics on her own terms, fully aware of and sensitive to the needs of her body and mind.
If recent results are any indication, Biles is well on her way to a spot on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team. At the 2023 U.S. Gymnastics Championships — her very first competitive meet since the Tokyo Games — Biles claimed a historic eighth all-around title, and had the entire building supporting her (even the gymnasts who were competing against her).
The 2024 Olympic Games are scheduled to kick off in Paris on July, 26, 2024.