Image courtesy of Yahoo News
By Noelia Veras
The 2021 USA Gymnastics Championships took place last weekend from June 3-6 at Fort Worth, Texas. Simone Biles led in three categories and won the championship with a total score of 119.950. Biles made history after winning her seventh national championship, which is the most in U.S. women’s gymnastics history.
Following the championship, 18 women were chosen to compete at the Olympic Trials in St. Louis, Missouri from June 24-27. The women are: Biles, Skye Blakely, Jade Carey, Jordan Chiles, Kayla DiCello, Amari Drayton, Kara Eaker, Addison Fatta, Shilese Jones, Emily Lee, Sunisa Lee, Emma Malabuyo, Grace McCallum, Riley McCusker, Zoe Miller, Ava Siegfeldt, MyKayla Skinner, and Leanne Wong. The top two athletes at the Trials will automatically make the Olympic team for the rescheduled games on July 23 in Tokyo. Two other athletes will be chosen for the team and the fifth athlete will go on as an individual.
Biles secured her win at the championship after winning the vault, balance beam and floor routine. The only event she did not win was the uneven bars, for which Sunisa Lee placed first. Sunisa Lee was second overall at the championship and Chiles, Biles’s training partner, came in third overall.
Biles did not perform the Yurchenko Double Pike on the vault after debuting it just a few weeks ago, but she did perform her namesake move “the Biles” during her floor routine, which is a move that has never been done before. Biles is a trailblazer and risk taker in gymnastics as she was the first woman to complete the Yurchenko Double Pike on the vault. According to Yahoo, the vault was named after Russian gymnast Natalia Yurchenko, who performed the stunt in the ‘80s, though her version of the vault usually stops at a single flip, while Biles added an extra flip to the vault. This carried some controversy, though, as many believed that when Biles debuted the move at the U.S. Classic, her score did not reflect the difficulty of the move.
At the championship, however, eyes were also on Chiles as she got emotional seeing her score after qualifying for the Olympic Trials. Biles talked to Chiles and validated her ability, as her training partner was in shock. After the event, a journalist asked Biles about what she had said to Chiles.
“I told her that she had done it and she belongs here, and that we’re going to go to [Olympic] Trials and do the exact same thing because this is what we trained for,” Biles said of Chiles. “I’m happy she got to go out there and show the world what she’s capable of because she deserves it.”
Overall, Biles made history again and is almost certainly headed to the Olympics, which she is certainly preparing for and even alluded to in her floor routine where she performed with the song “Tokyo Drift” by the Teriyaki Boyz in the background. Biles is surely ready to make more historical records and is certainly embracing her label as “the greatest of all time,” with the embroidered goat she has worn on her leotard the past two events she has attended. All that is left for Team U.S.A are the remaining 4 athletes who will more than likely compete alongside Biles as she gears up for her second Olympic run.