Simone Biles wins again to lead Olympic team for gymnastics

Simone Biles ran away with the all-around competition Sunday night for Olympic trials. She will lead the U.S. to Tokyo.

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June 29, 2021 - 9:06 AM

Simone Biles waves to fans after the Women's competition of the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials at America’s Center on June 27, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/TNS)

ST. LOUIS — The last time Simone Biles lost an all-around competition was in 2013 when it took a seasoned Olympian to beat the then-16-year-old, who the world was just learning about.

She since has joined the ranks of athletes who most recognize with the mere mention of their first name. No nickname required.

Biles arrived in St. Louis for the U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials with that win streak and no real expectation that she would be challenged. And so it was that she ran away with the all-around competition Sunday night in the Dome at America’s Center to make official what has been assumed for years.

She will lead the U.S. to Tokyo on a team that will include Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum as well as specialists Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner, who were announced at the conclusion of the trials. Alternates are Kayla DiCello, Kara Eaker, Leanne Wong and Emma Malabuyo.

“I’m very relieved the Olympic trials are over, and we still have a lot of work to put in once we get over there,” Biles said. “There’s just more emotions going into it because of everything I’ve been through. It’s been a long journey, so I’m excited to wrap that up.”

After winning by 4.7 points over Lee at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Biles outdistanced her by only 2.266 points at the trials. She finished with 118.098 points, followed by Lee (115.832), Chiles (114.631) and McCallum (112.564).

The crowd of 20,815 broke the attendance record for one session at a U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials event.

Biles did not have her best night as her routines could not match up with Friday’s. Most notably, she fell from the balance beam after posting the best score of the trials two nights earlier.

“Simone night one kicked Simone night two’s butt,” Biles said. “It wasn’t my best performance. I kind of got in my head today and started doubting myself and you could see that in the gymnastics, but I’ll go home and work harder. This is just the beginning of the journey.”

Even with her problems, she won floor along with the vault for the trials and was third on the beam and bars.

Nothing she did at the Dome was going to impact her status or the crowd reaction, which concluded with a standing ovation in the packed lower bowl.

Instead of getting to the top of the sport and stagnating, Biles has continued to challenge herself and judges.

She pulled off a Yurchenko double pike on the vault last month, creating headlines around the world for the feat. On the first night of the trials, she landed a double-twisting, double somersault dismount from the balance beam, a move other gymnasts don’t even try. Her floor exercise Friday night drew raves.

The bars are supposed to be her worst event, but anyone else would be happy to take her performances. She was third on the bars on the first night of trials. She did struggle more Sunday and finished with a 13.833 after a 14.60 to open the weekend.

Lee made things interesting by improving two scores over the first night and matching another. She finished first on the beam and bars. Chiles was consistent for two days and was second on bars, third on the floor exercise and vault and fourth on the beam.

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