by Anna Rose Johnson
Rio superstar Simone Biles has announced that she will resume full-time training in November, and she’s tentatively targeting the 2018 U.S. Classic as her comeback competition. Biles recently spoke with NBC Sports to update her training status and told them that she would probably compete at Classics, “but only competing two [events], just to get back into that competition mode. Then the goal is P&Gs to compete all, obviously, and then continue from there.”
An elite gymnast since 2011, Biles won five medals at the 2016 Olympic Games (including four golds) and decided to take a break from competition to enjoy life outside of the gym for a while. She’s been lightly training since August, and she will soon announce the name of her new coach. (Her former coach, Aimee Boorman, has moved to Florida, and Biles will remain at the World Champions Centre gym in Texas.) She told NBC that returning to full-time training “will be rough. But the muscle memory is there because I’ve come and I’ve played in the gym. All of my skills are basically still there.”
When Biles returns to the elite stage next year, she’ll be competing with the next generation of gymnasts—likely the members of the 2017 World Championships team (including World all-around champ Morgan Hurd). She will also be competing with the group of 2018’s first-year seniors, which will include junior standouts Maile O’Keefe and Emma Malabuyo. “I’m excited [to return to full-time training],” Biles added.
The 2018 World Championships in Doha could possibly mark Biles’ return to international competition, assuming she is nominated to the five-member team. As the halfway point between Olympics, 2018 Worlds will be a big test for Biles, who could be the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic all-around golds since Vera Caslavska in 1968. But if anyone can overcome fifty-two years of history, it’s Simone Biles, and we can’t wait to watch her return to the sport.