Simone Biles won a record eighth all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Sunday, breaking a 90-year record. Biles’ win comes weeks after she came back to the competition following her break to prioritize her mental health.
The four-time Olympic champion’s floor routine earned a score of 15.400, with an all-around total of 118.450, four points clear of runner-up Shilese Jones. 2021 World all-around silver medallist Leanne Wong came third, scoring 111.100 for the bronze medal.
“It’s really amazing. Everybody in here believes in me, and my teammates believe in me, my coaches, my family, everyone,” Biles told NBC. “So, I just need to start believing in myself a little bit more. But it feels amazing. And I love the fans, I love the crowd. It’s really special.”
Biles is now ahead of Alfred Jochim, who claimed his seventh U.S. title in 1933. The 26-year-old matched Jochim’s record in 2021 after she first became U.S. all-around champion in 2013.
Biles broke into the scene at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro where she won four gold medals as well as a bronze medal. She has since gone ahead to make a name for herself and won several accolades along the way, making her a role model for aspiring gymnasts. The African-American athlete, who is currently the most decorated gymnast in history, represented the United States at the Tokyo Olympics.
After struggling with the “twisties,” a gymnastics term for an athlete experiencing a mental block in mid-air that makes it difficult to complete a move, Biles took a two-year break, withdrawing from the women’s team final and four subsequent individual finals.
She is likely to take part in the World Championships in Antwerp from September 30 to October 8, and it is unclear whether she will compete at next year’s Olympics in Paris.