Home Sports Simone Biles Resurrects and Executes Complex Twisting Maneuvers, Achieving a Triumph Beyond...

Simone Biles Resurrects and Executes Complex Twisting Maneuvers, Achieving a Triumph Beyond Titles

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If the music that kicked off Simone Biles’ floor routine wasn’t a statement, her initial sequence certainly was.

Accompanied by the resounding beats of Taylor Swift’s “Ready for it,” echoing throughout the arena with the lyrics, “Baby let the games begin. Let the games begin. Let the games begin,” Biles reintroduced her triple twisting, double somersault—dubbed the Biles II—at the U.S. Classic on Saturday night. It’s a move she hadn’t executed on floor since her challenging experience at the Tokyo Olympics. The fact that she’s reincorporated it into her routine speaks volumes, indicating she’s prepared for whatever challenges lie ahead in the coming months.

“She’s feeling good. She’s looking good. She’s mentally and physically fit,” remarked Cecile Landi, who, alongside her husband Laurent Landi, coaches Biles. “I don’t know if you can see it, but she’s way more relaxed and enjoying competing and having fun.

“Truly, I think she really found why she’s doing it. I think for the very first time, it’s truly for her.”

Struggling with mental health issues exacerbated by the isolation of COVID restrictions at the Tokyo Olympics—no spectators, no family, and stringent limitations on athletes’ movements—Biles grappled with “the twisties,” losing her spatial awareness mid-air. Consequently, she withdrew from the team competition to prioritize her physical safety and opted out of four individual event finals. However, she returned to clinch a bronze medal on the balance beam.

Following her hiatus, unsure if she wanted to resume competing, Biles tied the knot with husband Jonathan Owens and embarked on constructing their dream home outside Houston. Additionally, she committed herself to regular therapy sessions, recognizing her need for personal growth beyond her athletic pursuits.

Upon her return last season, Biles exercised caution, omitting the Biles II from her floor routine and her double twisting, double somersault dismount on uneven bars. Despite these adjustments, she clinched her eighth U.S. title and sixth world title. While she could have continued without these skills, Biles didn’t ascend to the pinnacle of gymnastics by merely meeting the minimum requirements. Her ambition led her to redefine the sport’s limits, continually pushing her talents and training.

Now, the monumental twisting maneuvers are back. During the Yurchenko double pike vault at the U.S. Classic, Biles executed the move without Laurent Landi on standby—a significant milestone symbolizing her readiness and confidence.

“She just feels ready,” noted Cecile Landi. “It just came organically. At training, she was fine. And today was the first time without a spotter standing there. So it was a huge deal.”

Indeed, it was. Biles’ performance at the U.S. Classic showcased her confidence and comfort, underscoring her mastery of the sport. Despite minor imperfections, she finished with an impressive 59.5 points, her best all-around score since Tokyo, securing a lead of 1.85 points over Shilese Jones, a medalist at the last two world championships. This meet marked her first appearance of the season, highlighting her potential for further refinement and improvement in the upcoming competitions.

As Taylor Swift’s lyrics suggest, “Let the games begin”—and with Biles’ triumphant return, they certainly have.