Simone Biles Added to 2024 Core Hydration Classic Roster

Simone Biles Added to 2024 Core Hydration Classic Roster

Biles Added to the RosterThe Road to Paris is headed to Hartford!

The pathway to the Paris Olympics will run through Hartford, Connecticut, when the country’s leading women’s gymnasts compete at the Core Hydration Classic May 17-18 at the XL Center.

The 2024 Core Hydration Classic will be the final opportunity for women to qualify for 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships, held just two weeks later in Fort Worth, Texas. It is at Fort Worth that USA Gymnastics will name the U.S. National Team members who will compete for Olympic Team berths at the 2024 Olympic Trials June 27-30 in Minneapolis.

“The Core Hydration Classic is where gymnasts start to perfect the routines that they hope will take them all the way to the Olympics,” said USA Gymnastics Chief of Programs Stefanie Korepin. “We are excited to return to Hartford as we move into the 2024 championship season.”

Added to the roster Friday, and headlining the most decorated field of athletes the U.S. women have ever seen, is Simone Biles. At the 2023 World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, Biles’ status in the sport as the Greatest of All Time was not only secured, but rose to a level we may never see again in gymnastics. Unparalleled in her performance, and back once again, this time on her own terms, Biles left Belgium as a 30-time World medalist, upping her own dominant game to 37 total in World and Olympic competition. It was unprecedented and historic, with the energy and emotion of the entire Championship captured as the Queen once again took her place atop the podium. 2024 has been waiting for her – and she’s set to make her season debut in Hartford.

Notably, current NCAA competitors Jade Carey (2020 Olympic floor gold medalist) and Leanne Wong (2022 and 2023 World team gold medalist), along with defending Olympic Champ Suni Lee (scroll for more on Suni!) are all registered, along with 2023 World team gold medalist Joscelyn Roberson, who is on her way back from a leg injury suffered in warmups for Team Finals in Antwerp, 2023 World All-Around bronze medalist Shilese Jones, 2023 Pan American Games All-Around gold medalist and 2024 Winter Cup Champion Kayla DiCello, and 2020 Olympic team silver medalist Jordan Chiles.

The Roster updated April 12, 2024

USA Gymnastics has noted they will continue to update the roster each Friday. Currently absent is 2012 Olympic All-Around Champion Gabby Douglas who announced her comeback to competition with her eyes on Winter Cup exclusively with Inside Gymnastics on January 19, 2024 when we visited her at WOGA, but was ultimately sidelined in Louisville with COVID-19, and did not meet the qualifications to attend the April National Team Camp. Douglas may return to competition at the American Classic April 26-27 at Stars Gymnastics in Katy, Texas. American Classic serves as a qualifying event for the 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships, to be held May 30-June 2 in Fort Worth, Texas. A roster for that competition has yet to be released by USA Gymnastics. If Douglas is in the mix, it will mark an undeniably historic achievement for the U.S. women, with the three most recent Olympic All-Around Champions (2012, 2016, 2020) competing for one of five spots on Team USA.

Also not yet registered is 2022 U.S. All-Around Champion (and LSU standout) Konnor McClain, who has also indicated a run at Paris 2024. “I’ll definitely be at U.S. Classic and compete there,” she told during an exclusive interview. “The goal is to do the all-around.”

2024 Core Hydration Classic -What to Know

WHEN: May 17-18, 2024

WHERE: XL Center – Hartford, Conn. – Map

(Times are Eastern) (subject to change)

  • Friday, May 17th – 2:00-4:30 p.m. – Hopes Championships
  • Friday, May 17th – 7:00-9:30 p.m. – Junior Women
  • Saturday, May 18th – 2:00-4:00 p.m. – Senior Women Session 1
  • Saturday, May 18th – 7:00-9:00 p.m. – Senior Women Session 2

Formerly known as the CoverGirl Classic, Secret U.S. Classic, GK U.S. Classic and U.S. Classic, the Core Hydration Classic features an elite field of junior and senior gymnasts and is the final qualifying event for the 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships, which serve as USA Gymnastics’ annual national championships, scheduled for May 30-June 2 in Fort Worth, Texas

Traditionally a women’s event, a men’s field was included in 2022 and 2023. The U.S. men’s program will not participate in the 2024 Core Hydration Classic to optimize their preparations for the Olympic Trials and Paris Games. The Core Hydration Classic is being held in conjunction with the 2024 Hopes Championships, a national-level event featuring rising stars from the women’s artistic discipline in the 11-12 and 13-14 year-old age divisions.

Past winners of Classic include Olympic champions Simone Biles, Amanda Borden, Dominique Dawes, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Carly Patterson, Jaycie Phelps, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber. 2020 Olympian Brody Malone captured the inaugural men’s title.

For More:

Kayla DiCello: Giving the Games One Last Shot

Leanne Wong’s Next Chapter

Trinity Thomas Takes on 2024

5 Takeaways from Winter Cup

USA Gymnastics Confirms International Assignments

No Regrets, Gabby Douglas Eyes Paris

U.S. Women’s Qualification Process

Olympic Gold Medalist Carly Patterson embraces new role for U.S. Women

Road to Paris Gets Real: Olympic Draw

Suni Lee Aims for America Classic

By the Inside Gymnastics Team

Olympic Champ Suni Lee is aiming for a return to competition at April’s American Classic, slated for April 25-28 in Katy, Texas. Lee’s coach Jess Graba told Inside Gymnastics they’re targeting that competition, but “the main plan being to be ready to go around U.S. Classic” which will take place May 17-18 in Hartford, Connecticut.

Many were surprised that Lee was not on USA Gymnastics’ roster of athletes attending this week’s National Team Training Camp. As a Tokyo medalist, Lee met one of the selection criteria to be able to participate there, but Graba told us Lee is focusing on training right now, “and trying to put some upgraded routines together for the next couple meets.”

Both the American Classic (April 25-28 in Katy, TX) and the U.S. Classic are qualifiers for the 2024 U.S. Championships. A minimum of twelve athletes will advance from that event to the U.S. Trials in June. At the conclusion of the Olympic Trials, five athletes will be named to represent the USA at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Lee, the defending Olympic Champ, had been hopeful for an international assignment this year prior to the Games. In late February, she competed uneven bars and balance beam at Winter Cup, where she showed a brand new element on uneven bars (full twisting layout Jaeger). “The whole reason we’re doing Winter Cup is so that we can go to [the Baku World Cup competition] and get the skill named because Suni really wants to get that out of the way,” Graba told Scott Bregman of prior to that event. “Get it out of the way, so it’s not a question mark going into the spring.”

At Winter Cup, Lee hit the skill perfectly in training multiple times, but fell on it in competition. She was ultimately not named to the Baku team by USA Gymnastics.

April’s National Team Camp (April 1-4) presents opportunities for athletes to be named to teams for two upcoming international assignments, Pacific Rim Championships and the Jesolo Trophy. With Lee choosing to focus on upgrading and perfecting routines instead, that means if she were to qualify to the Olympic Games, that would be her first international competition this Quad. After the Tokyo Olympics, Lee enrolled at Auburn University. She announced that she planned to complete her sophomore year of competition and then return to Elite to train for Paris. But the tail end of her second season was cut short when she began suffering from a kidney illness. Sidelined from competition and training for a long stretch, Lee worked with doctors and coaches on a treatment plan and training regimen to get back to competition. She’s made continual progress after what she described as a very difficult journey.

“I’m in remission right now, so I’ve just been getting it under control and starting to work up into routines and getting ready for the season,” she told just before Winter Cup. “I’ve been back in the gym every single day, eight hours a day, and it’s been going pretty well.”

In addition to her brand-new skill that she performed in training at Winter Cup, she also showcased that signature elegant style and attention to detail that helped earn the title of Olympic Champion. Based on what we saw in training at Winter Cup, Lee looks like a true contender for the 2024 team, where she could particularly contribute on bars and beam. Lee is one of three Olympic All-Around Champs vying for a spot on the team, with 2012 Champ Gabby Douglas and 2016 Champ Simone Biles also training for Paris 2024.

Mark your calendars for the competitions on the road to Paris and fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be an exciting journey as an incredibly deep pool of U.S. athletes challenge for a spot on what could be perhaps the most competitive team in history to make.

Look for Inside Gymnastics on the scene in Hartford!

Photo credits: Ricardo Bufolin and Lloyd Smith for Inside Gymnastics

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