Simone Biles made history again as she won a historic 8th national all-around title at the Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Sunday, August 27, with a final score of 118.450.
The 26-year-old finished in first place in all-around, floor and balance beam events at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. Biles got a standing ovation after her final event, the floor routine. The win makes Biles the first gymnast ever to have eight national all-around titles. She’s also the oldest U.S. women’s all-around champion.
Biles previously secured seven national all-around titles, leaving her tied with the late Alfred Jochim, who earned the seventh title in 1933.
After the event, she told NBC sports that it felt “really special” to return to the championships and receive the standing ovation.
Her historic win comes just weeks after she made her first return to competitive gymnastics in two years. Despite the break, she was still at the top of her game, winning gold at the Core Hydration Classic in Chicago earlier this month.
Both events are considered key to making it to the Paris Olympics next year. However, Biles was trying to stay in the moment and not get too far ahead of herself.
“Right now, I think I should just embrace what happened today. Be happy for me, for my teammates,” she told reporters in Chicago after the Classic on August 6. “We’ll go into championships in a couple of weeks, work on those tweaks that we have today. But I’m in a really good spot, and who knows? I’m not gonna think so far ahead. I know everybody is just like — when you get married, they ask when you’re having a baby. You come to Classics, they’re asking you about the Olympics. I think we’re just trying to take it one step at a time and we’ll see.”
Her return to competition comes after a traumatic run at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. She had to withdraw from several events at the Olympics (which had been delayed from 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic) after suffering the “twisties.” (The “twisties” occur when an athlete loses control of their body while spinning through the air during a routine.)
“It felt really good [getting back out there], especially after everything that happened over the past year,” Biles added at the time. “So, everyone that was cheering, made posters in the crowd and all of that, it made my heart melt that they still believe in me. I got back out here and did what I was training, so I’m very happy with the result.”
She added, “I feel grateful that I get this opportunity and to come back out here and to compete in front of a crowd, because I truly didn’t believe I’d be back here competing at all.”
The Green Bay Packers safety was watching Biles on TV on Sunday night, he revealed via Instagram Story. (He had a game of his own on Saturday in Wisconsin.) “Right back at it, let’s get it!” he said in a video while watching his wife prepare to take the vault.