Simone Biles says winning her 20th world championships gold feels “just as good as my first” as the American continues to impress on her return to the sport.
Biles played a key role in Team USA’s historic victory in the women’s team finals at the World Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, on Wednesday.
Her impressive floor exercise secured Team USA’s seventh consecutive world title in the women’s team event.
Her latest world title comes 10 years after Biles won her first world title in 2013 at the same venue.
“I think every time you’re crowned a world champion, it feels a little different,” Biles told Heath Thorpe, via The Athletic. gymnastics nowafter winning his latest gold medal.
“I mean, I’m still surprised that I’m still going. I’m 26, a little bit older, so I feel just as good as the first one. Just because we broke the record, we came together, we There was a fight. It was different, but exciting.”
Biles, 26, is considered a veteran of the sport and has the medals to match.
The most decorated gymnast in U.S. history, she now has 26 world championship medals – 20 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze.
The American gymnast also tied Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus for the most medals at the Olympics and World Championships (33).
“I don’t feel like 16 anymore. I’m 26. Everything feels different. I feel like I’m thinking more about my gymnastics. Things are less carefree,” Biles said.
With this competition in Antwerp, Biles became the first woman to represent the United States in six World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships.
Even before Wednesday’s gold medal, Biles was already having an impressive game, making history on the opening day of competition by finishing first in the women’s all-around qualifying event.
In the process, she became the first woman to land Yurchenko’s double vault at an international competition—a difficult skill that historically only men have accomplished.
Former U.S. gymnast Dominique Dawes told This Morning on Thursday that Biles’ achievements in Belgium were “phenomenal.”
“I’m completely in awe of everything she does. My kids are huge Simone Biles fans, and what I love is that she’s enjoying the journey,” Dawes said.
“She was smiling every step of the way. She was a great teammate and she will leave a lasting impact.”
Doss is a three-time Olympian and a member of the “Big Seven” — the first U.S. team to win a gold medal in women’s gymnastics at the 1996 Olympics.
The now-retired gymnast said she enjoyed watching Team USA perform on the world stage, an attitude she credits Biles with fostering.
“They’re bonding. They’re friends. They’re laughing and really enjoying it, but they’re under a lot of pressure,” Dawes said.
“I know that three times as an Olympian you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. You represent your country and you realize that millions of people are watching you.
“But, they’re smiling. They’re laughing. They’re enjoying every part of it. That’s why I love that Simon (Biles) has changed that aspect of the sport.”
This week marks Biles’ return to the world stage for the first time since the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, when she withdrew from several events due to a “distortion” phenomenon that causes gymnasts to lose their position in mid-air.
In pictures: Superstar gymnast Simone Biles
Dawes said she believed Biles would return with “something to prove” but praised the way she handled her struggles at the last Olympics.
“She was a game changer in that way because more athletes then could feel comfortable talking about the psychological issues they were dealing with on and off the court. So she was able to make an impact in that area,” Dawes said, and Biles is predicted to make the next two Olympic teams.
“As an athlete you would be remiss if you expected yourself to get through completely, and I know she will be able to do that at Paris 2024.
“I have always said to my husband that I think this young lady could be considered for qualification for the fourth Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028.”
Before then, Biles still has a chance to win more world championship medals.
She will compete in the women’s individual all-around final on Friday, followed by the women’s vault and uneven bars finals on Oct. 7 and the balance beam and floor exercise finals the next day.