The GOAT is coming back. Seven-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles is returning to the mat for USA Gymnastics, reports ESPN.
Biles will participate in the single-day event on August 5, 2023, at NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates near Chicago, which will be her first competitive event since the Tokyo Olympics back in 2021.
Considered one of the signature events for USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Classic acts as a warm-up for the national championships, which are scheduled to be held in San Jose in late August.
For the last two years, the all-star women's gymnast has been off of the gymnastics scene after making headlines for pulling out of multiple events citing mental health concerns. She sat out of the Olympics' all-around, vault, and floor exercise finals, all events that she was favored to win because she suffered from the "twisties" which is a gymnastics term for temporary loss of balance while airborne.
"After the performance that I did, I didn’t want to go into any of the other events second-guessing myself, so I thought it was better if I took a step back and let these girls go out there and do the job, and they did just that," Simone Biles said at the time.
Her bold stance placed a spotlight on the pressures that athletes face and their need to prioritize their overall wellness. In an interview with EBONY, Biles shared the benefits of therapy during her hiatus from the sport.
“Anything that I have to deal with, I go to therapy,” she revealed. “In the beginning, I actually used to see a sports psychologist, and that really helped. And then as I got a little bit older, I started seeing a therapist. And I feel like it's just helped my mental well-being in and out of the gym.”
Regarded as one of the greatest gymnasts of all-time, she is the most decorated athlete in the sport's history with 25 World Championship medals and is in ninth place for the most Olympic gold medals. In 2022, Biles was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Joe Biden.