Simone Biles has clinched her sixth U.S. all-around title for being the freaking greatest gymnast of all time, basically decimating her competition at the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships by pulling off some of the most challenging routines of her life… including the execution of a historic-making triple-double in her floor routine on Sunday: triple, as in three twists, and double, as in two somersaults, which she somehow completes in a matter of 1.18 seconds in her first tumbling pass on the floor. The move has never been done before, so the physics-defying maneuver will be named after Biles if she is able to land it at the World Championships coming up in October.
Prior to Sunday’s feat, Biles had attempted the triple-double at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Friday as well — though she didn’t manage to stick the landing. No matter. She made history there another way, landing a double-double dismount — that is, two twists and two flips — to conclude her balance beam routine. It was the first time that a female athlete has ever done that at a competition.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) August 12, 2019
“Simone Biles is undoubtedly the best gymnast in the world and possibly of all time. She is an outstanding representative for gymnastics and the United States,” said Li Li Leung, current President and CEO of USA Gymnastics. Not that Biles needed the validation: She wore a leotard with a bedazzled goat to one of her training sessions.
Biles has expressed having mixed feelings about competing for USA Gymnastics. In a tearful and vulnerable interview with reporters last week, she said, “It’s hard coming here for an organization and having had them fail us so many times … You had one job. You literally had one job and you couldn’t protect us.” The trauma she and her fellow teammates experienced has left her wary of getting essential treatment for her body. “Every time I go to the doctor or training, I get worked on, and I don’t want to get worked on, but my body hurts,” she admitted, adding, “I’m 22.”
Sharing a recent article published in the Washington Post, Biles tweeted last week, “The more I learn, the more I hurt. USAG failed us. USOC failed us. Many failed us. And they continue to fail us. Real and actual change isn’t easy but it’s clear there’s a lot more work that needs to be done.” The Senate Commerce subcommittee determined that both the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics had deliberately tried to bury any allegations of abuse against Larry Nassar, sometimes to protect the reputation of the institutions (and its leaders) that we venerate; the subcommittee also found that this pattern of negligent behavior has corrupted other Olympic sports as well.