Olympian Simone Biles, 22, becomes FIRST woman ever to complete a ‘triple-double’ during a floor routine as she easily wins her sixth national title two days after landing the first ever ‘double-double’ dismount off a balance beam
- Olympian Simone Biles, 22, became the first woman in nearly 70 years to win six US senior women’s all-around gymnastics titles
- She marked the occasion by also becoming the first woman to attempt and land a triple-twisting, double back maneuver during her floor routine
- Biles finished the US women’s gymnastics championships with a score of 118.500 to beat Sunisa Lee (113.550) and Grace McCallum (111.850)
- Biles was already assured of winning a sixth US title – matching Clara Schroth Lomady, who won her sixth in 1952 – but risked doing the triple-double anyway
- On Friday, Biles made history by becoming the first gymnast ever to land a double twisting, double somersault dismount off the balance beam
- Biles broke down Wednesday as she explained how US Gymnastics ‘failed’ in the aftermath of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal
- Nassar was jailed for 40 to 175 years in Michigan state prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of sexual assault of minors in 2018
Olympian Simone Biles became the first woman in nearly 70 years to win six US senior women’s all-around gymnastics titles
Olympian Simone Biles became the first woman in nearly 70 years to win a sixth US senior all-around gymnastics titles – and she marked the occasion by also becoming the first woman to land a triple-twisting, double back maneuver during her floor routine.
On Friday, Biles made history by becoming the first gymnast ever to land a double twisting, double somersault dismount off the balance beam.
The four-time gold medalist and 2020 Tokyo Olympics favorite finished the final night of the US women’s gymnastics championships with a score of 118.500 to beat Sunisa Lee (113.550) and Grace McCallum (111.850).
Given that comfortable entering Sunday, the 22-year-old Biles could have taken the maneuver dubbed ‘the triple-double’ out of her routine on Sunday. By many accounts, she already had another national title in hand by that point of the program, matching Clara Schroth Lomady, who won her sixth US crown in 1952.
Biles’s coach Laurent Landi left the option up to her after the Olympic champion’s bid to become the first woman to complete the triple-double in competition came up a bit short on Friday.
Of course, he knew the answer.
Biles threw it at the end of her first tumbling pass, fueled by adrenaline, ambition and otherworldly skill. When the dizzying combination ended with her feet firmly on the floor – if barely in bounds – the jolt through the packed arena was palpable. The smile on her face unmistakable. And the competition – just like it has been for six years and counting whenever Biles is involved – was over.
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Simone Biles performs her floor routine during the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships, where she became the first woman to land a ‘triple-double’ in competition
Simone Biles celebrates after competing in the uneven bars to win the all around title
Biles doesn’t pay too much attention to the margin or her scores. She’s been a fixture atop the podium for six years and counting. Attempting to find the boundaries of her immense talent is what drives her.
It’s why she got so angry after putting both hands down as she tried to land the triple-double on Friday. It’s why she never thought about ditching it on Sunday. And it’s why she sneaked a peek at her phone while rotating from floor to balance beam, typically a no-no during a meet. Well, at least for anyone not named Simone Biles.
‘I wanted to see how it looked,’ she said.
Here’s a word: historic.
‘It’s like she hit a hole in one and we were all there,’ USA Gymnastics high performance director Tom Forster said. ‘It’s a big deal and we all know it. No one in the world has done it before in the women and actually, she does it better than most of the men who have done it. She should be super excited about that.’
She was. When Biles finished off a two-hour showcase that highlighted how wide the gulf between herself and the rest of the world has become by drilling her dismount on uneven bars: she danced.
Four-time Olympic and 14-time world champion Simone Biles has made history as the first gymnast ever to land a double twisting, double somersault dismount off the balance beam on Friday
Biles, 22, effortlessly twisted and flipped off the beam in front of the judges
Well, sort of. Biles gave Landi a relieved high-five before sticking out her tongue and waving her arms as she ran to hug the rest of competitors in her rotation.
The anger of Friday night – when she openly seethed after shorting the triple-double and making a bit of a mess on bars – was gone.
‘I was a lot happier today,’ Biles said. ‘I feel I haven’t been as confident on bars this year as I was last year. To finally do a good routine like I can do it, I was really happy. I was very happy and the last event, so I was like, ‘Thank God we’re done.”
For now anyway. Biles is two months away from a trip to the world championships – where her 20 medals are tied for the most by a female gymnast – and a year away from a return to the Olympics. She was a sensation in 2016, cementing her status as one of the best ever with two weeks of gymnastics that came as close to perfection as the sport allows.
A year to go before a return trip to the games, Biles is even better. And really, it’s not close.
Simone Biles celebrates after making history with her dismount while competing on the beam at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Friday in Kansas City, Missouri
‘She’s a freaking beast,’ said MyKayla Skinner, an alternate on the 2016 Olympic team who clinched a spot on the national team by finishing eighth. ‘Like, I don’t even understand. I always ask her, ‘Do you realize how good you are?’ And she’s like ‘Yeah, but I don’t know.’ It just comes so naturally, it’s amazing.’
In a sport that sometimes forces athletes to choose between skill and execution, Biles doesn’t have to. She not only puts together the most difficult routines in the world, she does them better than anyone else. Biles won floor, balance beam and vault and finished third on bars even with her ‘meh’ set on Friday.
‘She does stuff that I never thought people could do,’ Lee said.
Lee and 2017 world champion Morgan Hurd were the only women in the field to place ahead of Biles on any event, finishing one-two on bars, solidifying their chances of joining Biles at world championships in Germany in October in the process.
Hurd rebounded from a rocky floor exercise on Friday that dropped her to eighth overall to zoom up to fourth despite admitting she ‘wanted to throw up a little’ when the night began. She promised she would be better on Sunday and she was, despite a technical glitch before her floor when the music started before she took her starting position. She walked off the podium, exhaled and then went out and drilled her set.
‘I think more than anything, tonight just really helped my confidence,’ Hurd said.
Something every gymnast struggles with sometimes. Biles included. Yes, really. It speaks to her inner perfectionist that even after finishing the triple-double, she still knows it wasn’t quite her best.
‘It wasn’t as good as in some of the trainings,’ she said. ‘But I’m just happy that I landed it because after night one, my confidence got shot down. So I was really worried about it going into today and that was all I could worry about.’
AMERICAN OLYMPIC GYMNAST SIMONE BILES BREAKS DOWN AS SHE BLAMES TEAM OFFICIALS FOR FAILING TO PROTECT ATHLETES FROM PEDOPHILE LARRY NASSAR
By Associated Press and Leah Mcdonald For Dailymail.com
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles broke down Wednesday as she explained how US Gymnastics ‘failed us’ in the aftermath of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal.
Biles, 22, became emotional as she was asked why it is important for her and other gymnasts to speak about the controversy.
She was among the hundreds of athletes abused by disgraced former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was jailed for 40 to 175 years in Michigan state prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of sexual assault of minors in 2018.
More than 500 women came forward accusing him of sexual abuse while he was employed by Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics.
USA Gymnastics and by extension the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. were called out by Congress along with the FBI last week in a scathing report that detailed a series of catastrophic missteps over its handing of Nassar.
Biles is currently in therapy to help deal with the emotional fallout from the abuse by Larry Nassar, but she claims she is well aware that progress will be slow
Larry Nassar, (pictured), was jailed for 40 to 175 years in Michigan state prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of sexual assault of minors in 2018
It questioned how the 55-year-old, a longtime trainer with USA Gymnastics as well as Michigan State University – was allowed continue to abuse patients even after athletes started questioning his methods in the summer of 2015.
Biles told reporters: ‘I don’t mean to cry, but it’s hard coming here for an organization having had them failed us so many times.
‘And we had one goal and we’ve done everything that they’ve asked us for, even when we didn’t want to and they couldn’t do one damn job. You had one job. You literally had one job and you couldn’t protect us.’
Biles is currently in therapy to help deal with the emotional fallout, but she claims she is well aware that progress will be slow and that a full recovery might not be possible.
She added: ‘Everyone’s healing process is different and I think that’s the hardest part.
Simone Biles stretches during practice for the U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Wednesday in Kansas City
‘Because I feel like maybe I should be healed or this or that. But I feel like it will be an open wound for a really long time and it might not ever get closed or healed.’
Biles is trying to find a balance between her pursuit to become the first woman in more than 50 years to repeat as Olympic champion while using her status as the face of her sport to effect change.
‘When we tweet, it obviously goes a long way. We’re blessed to be given a platform so that people will hear and listen. But you know, it’s not easy coming back to the sport.
‘Coming back to the organization that has failed you. But you know, at this point, I just try to think, ‘I’m here as a professional athlete with my club team and stuff like that.
‘Because it’s not easy being out here. I feel every day is a reminder of what I went through and what I’ve been through and what I’m going through and how I’ve come out of it.’
Simon Biles is introduced before her floor routine at the Superstars of Gymnastics Event at the O2 Arena in Greenwich in March
The effects of her experience with Nassar, combined with the inability of USA Gymnastics, the USOPC and the FBI to act decisively when athletes alerted them about his conduct, linger.
She claims she feels distrust when she is introduced to a new staff member at USA Gymnastics and when she meets with trainers after practice.
‘How can we trust them?,’ Biles said. ‘They bring in new people all the time and I automatically put my foot up because the people that I had known for years had failed us.
‘All we can do at this point is have faith that they’ll have our backs, they’ll do the right thing,’ she said. ‘But at the end of the day it’s just a ticking time bomb. We’ll see. It’s a waiting game.’
The damning findings of an 18-month investigation details how Nassar was able to abuse more than 300 athletes over two decades because of ineffective oversight by the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics (USAG) – the sport’s governing body – and the FBI.
The report also found that Michigan State University, where Nassar also worked, ‘had opportunities to stop Nassar but failed to do so.’
The report found that the Olympic organizations ‘knowingly concealed abuse by Nassar, leading to the abuse of dozens of additional amateur athletes’ between the summer of 2015 and 2016, according to the report.
Former USA gymnasts along with Senators listen during a press conference on Capitol Hill about a bill meant to combat sexual abuse of young athletes in March 2018
The investigation found that the Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and MSU all received reports about Nassar’s abuse for more than a year before any action was taken.
‘The Olympic-related organization’s ability to identify and prevent abuse was inadequate.
‘As a result, hundreds of women and girls were sexually abused by Larry Nassar,’ the report found.
Li Li Leung, President and CEO of USA Gymnastics, said in a statement claimed the organization had ‘already made numerous changes designed to prevent the opportunity for abuse to occur.’
She added: ‘We have made it our top priority to become an athlete-centric organization that keeps athlete safety and well-being at the forefront of all that we do.’
The FBI began to investigate Nassar in July 2015 into allegations of sexual abuse of three national team gymnasts including McKayla Maroney, (left), and Ally Raisman, (right),