Simone Biles is the name on everybody’s lips this week after winning her record eighth U.S. Championship on Sunday night.
The historic win comes a decade after she nabbed her first-ever title.
Biles nabbed an all-around total of 118.40 over two days, four points clear of runner-up Shilese Jones, while Flordian athlete Leanne Wong claimed third.
“[At] Classics, I was like: ‘Oh, God, I don’t want to do this. I feel like I’m going to throw up,'” Biles said, per The Washington Post. “This one, I was like: ‘Oh, wow, championships came so soon. We’re ready to compete. We’re prepared.’ I still think there were some nerves, obviously, which is normal going into each and every event. But I knew I was capable of it.”
In June, Biles returned to competition at Chicago’s Core Hydration Classic in August — her first event since the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (which were delayed until the following year due to the pandemic.) Biles pulled out of the team finals in Tokyo, citing the emotional toll of the Tokyo Games. She faced heavy criticism from sports fans and media alike, but the time away was a necessary move.
The sports world welcomed her back with open arms.
“I think what shocked me the most was everyone is so supportive, like in the crowd, all of the girls, all of the signs,” Biles told ABC7 Chicago at the time. “The amount of outpouring love and support on Twitter, on Instagram and in the arena, which was really shocking and surprising to me that they all have such belief in me and that they still love me. It just makes my heart warm because it’s nice to come out here and have all that support, especially in a time like this, when I was really nervous to compete again.”