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Simone Biles set to return to competition for first time since 2021 Tokyo Olympics

The four-time gold medalist is scheduled to compete Aug. 4-5 at the U.S. Classic in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Simone Biles competes at the Olympic Games
Simone Biles competes at the Olympic Games in Tokyo on July 27, 2021.Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images file

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.

Organizers of the U.S. Classic announced that Biles, the four-time Olympic gold medalist, will compete in the event Aug. 4-5 at NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

It would be her first competition since the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, when she brought worldwide attention to the mental health struggles of athletes.

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.”

Biles' appearance in August will raise hopes that she'll try to make her third Olympics next year, when the world's greatest athletes gather in Paris. But her status for 2024 is still uncertain.

Without Biles in Tokyo two years ago, the U.S. still captured silver in the team competition. She returned to action in Tokyo to win bronze on the beam.

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.

Since Biles last competed, she married Green Bay Packers safety Jonathan Owens this year.

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.”