Simone Biles accomplished what no man or woman has ever done during the US Gymnastics Championships in San Jose, California, on Sunday – a record eighth U.S. all-around title.
Biles broke Alfred Jochim’s record of seven all-around golds, which was set 90 years ago in 1933.
The 26-year-old Biles also became the oldest woman to ever win the event, finishing 3.9 points ahead of 21-year-old Shilese Jones, who secured the silver medal.
This weekend in San Jose has been nothing short of incredible for Biles, who was suffering from what’s known as the “twisties” in gymnastics. It’s a mental block for gymnasts who can’t find the right positions midair during routines, which is an obvious danger and hindrance.
Biles didn’t seem to be dealing with anything of the sort when she cruised through her competition on Friday and Sunday. A clear sign that her confidence had returned came when she performed a Yurchenko double pike during her vault routine which, according to Reuters, had never been landed by a female gymnast in competition.
Everything came to a climax during a 15.400 floor routine that crowned her the all-around champion.
“I’ve been doing it for so long. I feel like I don’t think about numbers – I think about my performance. I think overall I hit eight for eight. I guess it’s a lucky number this year,” Biles told Peacock after her victory.
Biles was already the most decorated gymnast in U.S. history heading into the four-day event, but she remained driven to continue stockpiling medals – thanking her support system for pushing her forward.
“It’s really amazing. Everybody in here believes in me and my teammates believe in me. My coaches, my family, everyone. So I just need to start believing in myself a little bit more, but it feels amazing,” she said.
With the Paris Summer Olympics approaching next year, Biles was asked by Peacock the competition is on her “personal goals” list.
“Not yet,” Biles said with a smile.
That time may come, but for now, she’ll enjoy what no other gymnast has been able to do in history.
Leanne Wong won the bronze medal to round out the medalists for the event.
POST AUTHOR: Scott Thompson