Gymnastics great Biles targets 2024 Paris Games

@New Vision
Sep 07, 2023

With her comeback gaining steam, US gymnastics great Simone Biles said Thursday she would "love" to chase more gold at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

"That's the path that I would love to go," Biles said in an interview on NBC's Today show, the first time since her return from a two-year hiatus that she confirmed the Paris Games were in her plans.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist has looked like her dazzling old self in two competitions in August, twice nailing her signature Yurchenko double pike, a vault so difficult that no other woman has performed it in competition.

She won a record eighth US all-around title at the national championships to put herself in position to add to her 19 world titles when the World Championships are held in Antwerp, Belgium, September 30-October 8.

Until Thursday, Biles had said she intended to remain "a little bit secretive" about her competitive goals as she strives to maintain a balance between her sport and personal life.

Biles, 26, was the sport's dominant force and out to defend the four gold medals won in the 2016 Rio Olympics when she pulled out of most of her events at the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games in 2021.

She was battling the "twisties," a dangerous phenomenon in which gymnasts lose their sense of where they are in the air.

Her decision to withdraw was hailed as a watershed moment for the issue of mental health in elite sports, and Biles reiterated on Thursday that even as she looks toward Paris she continues to focus on  her mental health.

"I think I have to take care of myself a little bit more and listen to my body," she said of how she's changed as a gymnast. "Making sure that I'm making time for the important things in my life rather than before it was just like go, go, go and then making time after.

"This time around it's being intentional, going to therapy, making sure everything is aligned so that I can do the best in the gym and be a good wife, good daughter, good friend, all the good things," added Biles, who married Green Bay Packers safety Jonathan Owens in April.

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