Already the greatest gymnast of all time, Simone Biles has booked a return trip to the Olympic Games and will have the opportunity to build on her legacy in exactly one month.
Biles handily won the women’s all-around at the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials in St. Louis with 118.098 points, a margin of 2.66 over Sunisa Lee (115.832), who assured her Olympic debut by finishing second.
The seven-time national champion became the first gymnast to win U.S. Olympic Trials twice for as far back as public records go.
The remaining two members of the team — plus one specialist who will compete as an individual — will be named later Sunday night.
Jade Carey will also compete at the Olympics as an individual. She locked in her spot, by name, in the spring of 2020 after winning the vault title at three World Cups. She will have the option to compete all four events in Olympic qualification, and is a favorite to make both the floor exercise and vault finals, owning World Cup golds and world championship medals on both.
Biles’ World Champions Centre teammate Jordan Chiles was third at Trials with 114.631 points, followed by two-time world championship team member Grace McCallum‘s 112.564.
Biles will be the only one of the six U.S. women competing in Tokyo with Olympic experience, just as Sam Mikulak is of the five men. At 24, she will be the oldest U.S. Olympic women’s gymnast since Annia Hatch (26) and Mohini Bhardwaj (25) in 2004.
Sunday’s victory did not come as easily for Biles as her astounding 25 previous all-around wins had over the last eight years.
Looking concerned and potentially nervous all night, Biles was unhappy with the hops she had on both vault landings as she started the competition, though still had the highest vault scores.
In the second rotation, Biles’ legs separated on uneven bars and she took multiple steps on her landing.
She then moved to balance beam, and fell off that apparatus for the second time this season.
Biles was seen crying as coach Laurent Landi taped her foot.
“No one is tougher on Simone than Simone,” NBC analyst and Olympic medalist Tim Daggett commented.
She ended what could potentially be the last domestic meet of her career on floor, leaving out one connection and twice going out of bounds.
Biles already holds several records in the sport, but is expected to add to the list in Tokyo. She already has 25 world championship medals, more than any other male or female gymnast, and four skills named after her.
A fifth eponymous skill could come next month if Biles successfully competes the Yurchenko double vault she debuted at last month’s U.S. Classic.
After winning Olympic golds in the all-around, floor exercise, team event and vault — and bronze on uneven bars — five years ago in Rio, Biles will become the most decorated U.S. Olympic gymnast with just three more medals.
Should she win five gold medals — which she did at the 2019 World Championships — Biles would be the first U.S. woman in any sport to do so at a single Games. That would also cause her to displace swimmer Jenny Thompson for most career Olympic gold medals by a U.S. woman.
Simply winning the all-around, which Biles has done at five world championships, would make her the first woman in 58 years to win that title twice.
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Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee first named to U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team originally appeared on NBCSports.com