Four-time Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles of the United States has broken her silence on her return to competition.
“sorry I’ve been a little MIA since the announcement 🤍,” Biles said Wednesday (5 July) on Twitter, her first public statement on her return to competition.
“I’m overwhelmed with all of your messages, support & love! excited to get back out on the competition floor! XOXO 🏾”
USA Gymnastics announced last week that Biles is set to take part in the 2023 U.S. Classic on 5 August at Now Arena in the Chicago suburbs. The competition is the final qualifying event to the U.S. Championships.
A seven-time Olympic medallist, Biles, who recently wed NFL player Jonathan Owens, had been quiet publicly about her plans to return to the sport, but didn’t rule out a third Games in an exclusive interview in 2021.
“Right now, I’m trying to take it one step at a time. I really feel like I haven’t fully got to process Tokyo yet,” she told Olympics.com during her Gold Over America Tour in September 2021. “So, once I fully understand and process that, I’m sure it’ll lead me towards which direction I want to go towards.”
“In the back of my head, it’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to do it’ but then my body and everything else tells me no,” Biles continued. “I have to gauge it. I’m not sure yet.”
The announcement on 28 June that Biles had registered for the U.S. Classic was the first public indication of Biles’ intentions. The gymnastics star has for the most part laid low since the end of her tour, only sporadically giving interviews that mostly focus on her engagement or nuptials.
If Biles, 26, were to qualify to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, she would be the oldest woman to make the U.S. gymnastics team in two decades. Annia Hatch was 26 at Athens 2004. The last U.S. woman to qualify for three Olympic Games in gymnastics was Dominique Dawes, who won medals at Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000.