vs. herself is officially a work
in progress. The gymnastics
superstar vs. the rest of the world?
Everything is the same as it has always been.
Next stop, Tokyo, for another chance at history
, and possibly a lot of gold.
The reigning world and Olympic
champion will lead the United States women
's gymnastics team to Japan
next month after clinching one of two automatic berths at the Olympic Trials on Sunday night.
Maybe not so simple after all.
Her bars were uneven. She fell off the beam. She stepped out of bounds on floor exercise
. While her two-day total of 118.098 was more than two points ahead of Olympic teammate Sunisa Lee, Lee actually posted a higher all-around score than Biles during the finals.
“I kind of got in my head today and started doubting myself, and you could see that in the gymnastics,” Biles said, “but just go home, work harder, and this is just the beginning of the journey.”
DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!! @Simone_Biles x #GymTrials21 pic.twitter.com/v6yCkuLSaZ — Team USA (@TeamUSA) June 28, 2021
Biles isn't sure what awaits her after the Tokyo Games because she's been too focused on becoming the first woman in more than a half-century to repeat as Olympic champion. The lure of history and respect for her own immense talent is why she returned after a brief hiatus following her dominant five-medal performance in Rio de Janeiro
_Biles finishing strong. #GymTrials21 pic.twitter.com/sb3wfnYjXs — Team USA (@TeamUSA) June 28, 2021
Since her coronation in Rio in 2016, Biles has become more than just a gymnastics star, with her consistent excellence — her last second-place finish in a meet was more than nine years ago — combined with her charisma and her possibility-pushing routines propelling her into the company of Michael Phelan and others.
The pressure she feels — both internally and externally — is real, and it bubbled up as she gave a somewhat exhausted salute to the judges
following her floor routine, grateful for the standing ovation but also relieved that the big show is finally here.
“Yes, I’m relieved that the Olympic Trials are over,” she said, adding that “we still have a lot of work to do once we get over there.”
MyKayla Skinner, an alternate in 2016, was awarded the "plus-1" specialist spot, and Jade Carey earned a nominative spot through the World Cup circuit, meaning she will compete as an individual.
Meet your US Olympic Gymnastics team!!! Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, MyKayla Skinner, Jade [email protected]
| #GymTrials21 pic.twitter.com/Ub5buxMXyv — On Her Turf (@OnHerTurf) June 28, 2021