Gymnast Simone Biles shines at Core Hydration Classic on road to Paris Olympics

As gymnasts prepare for the Olympics, returning stars shine at the Core Hydration Classic
Gymnastics - 2024 Core Hydration Classic
Gymnastics - 2024 Core Hydration Classic / Tim Clayton - Corbis/GettyImages

2024 is an important year for many athletes as it marks the next chapter in the history of the Olympic Games as the Summer Olympics will take place in Paris, France this July.

Every four years, athletes worldwide compete in various athletic events, representing their country as they battle to see who is the best performer in their respective field. From swimming and volleyball to track and field and wrestling, there’s an event for all types of athletes and all walks of life.

One of the most popular events in the Summer Olympics is gymnastics, physical exercises that highlight artistry, flexibility, coordination, and balance. 

Simone Biles is easily one of the most recognizable names in the sport of gymnastics, being the most decorated gymnast in history with 37 Olympic and World Championship medals.

At the Core Hydration Classic event on Saturday, May 18, she won the gold medal in the all-around event, an event where she has won gold at the Olympics with an all-around gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, demonstrating her mastery in multiple gymnastics events.

The silver medal went to Shilese Jones and the bronze medal went to Jordan Chiles.

Biles also, "took the gold medal on floor exercise, as well as silver medals in the uneven bars and balance beam.”

Biles wasn’t the only former all-around champion to compete in the events, as Gabby Douglas and Sunisa Lee also competed in the Core Hydration Classic. Douglas and Lee won gold medals for the all-around gymnastic events at the 2012 London Olympics and 2020 (taking place in 2021 due to the COVID pandemic) Tokyo Olympics, respectively.

This was the first time the three women competed against each other in over eight years, with their last competition taking place, "at the national championships, [where] Biles came out on top, Douglas finished fourth and Lee finished 10th in the juniors."

All three have since had success but they also have faced challenges working on the road to get to the top. 

Biles made headlines after suffering from the “twisties”, "a mental block causing a gymnast to lose track of their positions midair” at the Tokyo Games, causing her to withdraw from various events.

Although she won a bronze in the balance beam, she took a break from the sport. She returned and, "won four gold medals, as well as a silver, at the world championships and became the most decorated male or female gymnast ever, surpassing Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo’s record of 33 overall medals across both the Olympics and the world championships.”

At the event, Biles competed against all ranges of talent including 13 other medalists, "from the Olympics, World Championships and/or Pan American Games…including Tokyo Olympic floor champion Jade Carey and six-time world championship medalist Shilese Jones.”

Gabby Douglas, who has three Olympic gold medals to her name, made only her second competitive event appearance since the 2016 Rio Olympics at the Core Hydration Classic.

Ten months ago, Douglas returned to the sport and looks to continue in her gymnastics journey.

Sunisa Lee has dealt with personal obstacles as well, such as the effects kidney disease. Thankfully, treatment has allowed her to manage the condition as she looks to make a triumphant return to the Olympics by competing in the Paris games.

According to Reuters, Lee shared that Biles helped her be more open about her mental health.

In addition, during a warm-up floor exercise, 2022 US national champion Konnor McClain, unfortunately, suffered an injury that required her to be taken in a wheelchair, reminding fans of the risks that come with being a world-class gymnast.

For the gymnasts, the next major events before the Olympics will be the, “ US Championships in Fort Worth, Texas, beginning on May 30 followed by the US Olympic Trials starting June 27 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.”

Those who are among the top performers at the Olympic trials will advance to represent Team USA in Paris at the Olympic games. Here's wishing the best to all of the competitors.

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