Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles is set to take the competitive stage later this summer in her first sanctioned event in nearly two years, officials said Wednesday.
Biles, 26, was a breakout star of the 2016 Rio Olympics, striking gold in the team all-around, the individual all-around, the vault and the floor exercise and taking bronze on the balance beam.
She was the focus of attention heading into the Covid-delayed games in Tokyo.
Biles stunned the gymnastics world when she pulled out of the team finals, saying the emotional toll of the Tokyo Games, not a physical injury, prompted her withdrawal.
“Physically, I feel good. I’m in shape,” she told Hoda Kotb on NBC’s “TODAY” show after her exit. “Emotionally, it varies on the time and moment. Coming to the Olympics and being head star isn’t an easy feat.”
Later, she told NBC’s Andrea Joyce that her struggle was “more mental, and we’re just dealing with a couple of things internally.”
Shortly after Tokyo, Biles gave tearful testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, sharing her story of having been sexually abused by USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
She bluntly said USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee “failed to do their jobs.”
“I don’t want another young gymnast or Olympic athlete or any individual to experience the horror that I and hundreds of others have endured before, during and continuing to this day in the wake of the Larry Nassar abuse,” Biles told lawmakers, her voice choking with emotion.
When Biles takes the floor in suburban Chicago in a little more than six weeks, she'll be joined by fellow Americans Sunisa Lee, who won gold in the individual all-around in Tokyo, and Jade Carey, the floor exercise gold medalist two years ago.
“It is exciting to think about the level of talent and historical legacy of the field that may compete at U.S. Classic,” USA Gymnastics Chief Programs Officer Stefanie Korepin said in a statement. “Every athlete is at a different place in their season and career, and we will support each of them, wherever they are in their journey.”