ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Simone Biles and Jordan Chiles secured spots on Team USA at the 2021 US Olympic Trials. For Chiles, it’s her first Olympics. For Biles, her second.
Biles is the world’s most decorated gymnast. At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, she became the all-around Olympic champion.
Not since the 1968 Mexico Summer Games has a gymnast won all-around gold at back-to-back Olympics, and Biles hasn’t lost a competition since 2013. Hence, she could be the first to do so since Czechoslovakia’s Věra Čáslavská. Biles’ consecutive wins over the years has her primed to bring home a second all-around gold medal from Japan this summer.
Biles fell off the beam in the third rotation during last night’s competition, which is unusual for her. In a rare occurrence, tears of frustration were shed by the one many refer to as the goat.
In 2016, she missed a highly anticipated gold medal on the Beam in Rio. Instead of gold, she earned bronze and medaled behind teammate Laurie Hernadez. Biles doesn’t want to make the same mistake. She later explained her frustration, upset that she fell when other competitors showed up and gave their personal best. Biles explained that she didn’t bring her personal best on the second night of Trials.
Nevertheless, she finished the night with an impressive floor exercise routine which received a standing ovation from a crowd of over 21,000.
Chiles thought about leaving the sport in 2018. But was encouraged by her parents, family and friends to continue. She switched coaches and gyms and moved thousands of miles from Vancouver, Washington to train with Biles and her coaches in Spring Texas, at the World Champion Centre. It may have been the best decision she could have made for her career.
Chiles performed the best floor routine of her life and did it when it counted the most. After the exercise, she was greeted by teammate Biles who embraced her upon exiting the podium.
“I’m so proud of you girl,” Biles said to Chiles. Both athletes’ eyes filled with tears of joy. They knew they had done enough to make their Olympic dreams come true.
Both girls, along with Suni Lee — the first Hmong-American Olympic gymnast, and Grace McCallum — who helped Team USA grab gold at the 2018 and 2019 World Championships, are headed to Tokyo.
Biles, Chiles, Lee, and McCallum will be joined by Jade Carey and McKayla Skinner who’ll compete in the individual spots.
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) June 28, 2021