Simone Biles continues to make history, making a record sixth world championships roster for the U.S. gymnastics team.
The 26-year-old earned an all-around total of 55.7000 at the selection camp, which put her ahead of Shilese Jones and Sky Blakely for the top spot on the roster. She becomes the only U.S. woman to qualify for six world championship teams. Admittedly, though, her performance to make the team was not her best.
“I feel like everybody was nervous [Tuesday] — not just me,” Biles told reporters Wednesday. “And I don’t know why. But it was just rough. So today was a lot better.”
Biles is joined by three gold medal winners from the 2022 world championships – Jones, Blakely and Leanne Wong. Additionally, 17-year-old Joscelyn Robertson was named to the roster.
The event marks a return to Antwerp, Belgium, for Biles, who won the first of her five all-around titles there at just 16 years old. In an Instagram story post following her qualification, she wrote, “Back to where it all started, see you soon Belgium.”
It’s been a decade, but Biles will return to Antwerp – this time looking to become the most decorated gymnast in history.
Currently, Biles has 32 combined Olympic and world championship medals – 25 of which have come at the world championships. She’s currently tied with Larisa Latynina of the Soviet Union, who retired in 1966, for the most medals ever at the two events, but Biles could break that tie with a medal at worlds.
The next major event after the 2023 world championships will be 2024 Paris Olympics, and Biles wants to compete for the U.S. at another Summer Games. But she’s taking it one step at a time, and that now includes a trip to the world championships.
“Everything we’re doing leading up to this next Games, or whatever, is very intentional,” she said earlier this month. “I think I have to take care of myself a little bit more and listen to my body and making sure I’m making time for the important things in my life, rather than before it was just like go, go, go and then making time after.
“This time around, it’s being intentional, going to therapy, making sure everything is aligned so I can do the best in the gym and be like, a good wife, good daughter, good friend — all the good things.”