toned it down, a little, and continued to soar.
The 24-year-old gymnastics
superstar won her record seventh U.S. title on Sunday night, delivering another stunning — and stunningly easy — performance that left little doubt that the pressure surrounding her bid to become the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic titles in more than 50 years is only pushing her to greater heights.
“It has never been done before, and it is called 'The Biles.'" pic.twitter.com/5uoyYQPzWB — Lindsay Crouse (@lindsaycrouse) June 7, 2021
Shaking off a sloppy start, at least by her impeccable standards, Biles put on a four-rotation showcase that demonstrated why a GOAT emblem — a nod to her status as the Greatest Of All Time — has become a fixture on her competition leotard.
Her two-day total of 119.650 was nearly five points higher than runner-up Sunisa Lee and good friend and teammate Jordan Chiles. Biles’ all-around score of 60.100 on Sunday was her highest since 2018 and served notice that she is only getting better with the Tokyo Olympics
less than seven weeks away.
I'd believe you if you told me Simone Biles could walk on water pic.twitter.com/40pNyI7GPr — love yourself. (@MichellCClark) June 6, 2021
She was far more precise in the finals, save for one tumbling pass where one of her feet stepped over the white border
. It helped that she managed to stay inbounds (mostly) during her floor routine after stepping out three times on Friday. Blame it on the rush she gets when the lights are on and a crowd is in her palm of her hands.
Oh well, something to work
on in preparation for the Olympic trials in St. Louis
later this month.
“It’s so crazy because in training I never go out of bounds and I never have this much power,” Biles explained, “but with adrenaline, that’s where it comes.”
While Biles' victory was never in doubt — and has rarely been during her nearly eight-year reign atop the sport — she is not in the mood to relax.
And to think she didn't even bother with her latest innovation, a Yurchenko double-pike vault she drilled twice at the U.S. Classic last month that drew attention from everyone from LeBron James
to Michelle Obama
; instead, she opted for two with slightly lower difficulty that she completed so casually it was difficult to tell if she was in front of an arena that screamed for her at every turn or juggling juggling juggling juggling juggling
It didn't matter because she still won vault, just like she did on beam, floor, and everywhere else she's saluted the judges
since the 2013 U.S. Championships.
The Yurchenko double-pike will likely return at trials and in Tokyo, where if she completes it during competition, another element in the sport's Code of Points will be named after her; simply add it to the list of "#SimoneThings."
The top two all-around finishers at trials will earn an automatic spot on the Olympic team, though U.S. national team coordinator Tom Forster admitted that Biles, Chiles, and Lee have separated themselves from the pack.
“You can look at the scores and it looks like that if the scores are anything,” Forster said.