Simone Biles pulls off signature moves on floor, beam at U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials


To quote a poster from a fan in the stands at The Dome in St. Louis on Friday night at the U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials, “It’s Simone [Biles’] world and we are all just living in it.”

Biles more than proved that sentiment to be accurate with her performance.

Looking to clinch her spot on the Olympic team for the second time in her legendary career, Biles dominated the competition from start to finish in the first day of the two-day competition — bringing the crowd in attendance to their feet and reminding everyone why she’s the defending Olympic all-around gold medalist.

By the end of Night 1, Biles was the all-around leader — with a 2.899 lead over Sunisa Lee in second place — and had the best scores on vault, floor and beam. While her selection to the team has been all but guaranteed for much of this Olympic cycle, it’s clear the 24-year-old Biles is leaving nothing to chance.

“Going into this [Trials], I know exactly what to expect,” Biles said after the meet in an interview on NBC. “And I’m a lot more emotional this time around, which is so crazy. Even walking out, I was like tearing up and crying and the girls were like, ‘Are you OK?’

“And I’m fine, it’s just I can’t believe the time is here. It’s been five years. I’m grateful.”

Biles started the night on uneven bars, known as her “weakest” event but that’s really just by her best-in-the-world-on-every-other-event standards. She recorded the third-highest score of the night.

With her least-favorite event out of the way, Biles headed to the balance beam. She finished her routine with the ultimate flex: Her double-double dismount named after — who else? — herself. Nastia Liukin, the 2008 Olympic all-around gold medalist, summed it up best on the broadcast after Biles’ dismount: “Greatest of all time.”

You might be wondering how Biles could top a routine that featured a skill named after herself. But the answer is simple: She did not one but two “Biles” skills in her floor routine — including a jaw-dropping triple-double in her opening pass. As GOATs do.

Sure, Biles could have ended the night on vault by doing the Yurchenko double pike she debuted last month — which will be named after her if she successfully completes it during the Olympics — but she decided to save some of her tricks for Tokyo. Even her two, ahem, “easy” vaults were good enough for a 15.466 combined score.

If you missed any of Friday’s action, fear not. Biles, and her peers, will be back for Night 2 on Sunday. Trust us when we say, you’re not going to want to miss her punch her ticket to Tokyo.





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