USA Gymnastics announced on Wednesday (June 28) that Simone Biles, the seven-time Olympic medalist, and 2016 Olympic champion, will fill out a trio of talents at the U.S. Classic. “The last two Olympic all-around gold medalists, Simone Biles (2016) and Sunisa Lee (2020) are joined by 2020 Olympic floor champion Jade Carey on a list that includes 11 Olympic and World Championships medalists entered in the U.S. Classic, set for August 4-5 at NOW Arena in suburban Chicago,” the organization announced on its website.
“It is exciting to think about the level of talent and historical legacy of the field that may compete at U.S. Classic,” USA Gymnastics Chief Programs Officer Stefanie Korepin said in the press release. “Every athlete is at a different place in their season and career, and we will support each of them, wherever they are in their journey.”
This marks Biles’ return to the sport after taking two years off following her turn at the Olympics in Japan. The 26-year-old famously withdrew from the competition to focus on her mental health – and after she came down with a condition called “the twisties,” which would have put her at risk of serious injury if she competed. During her stay, she cheered as Team USA took home the Silver. As for Simone, she left Japan with a bronze medal for the balance beam, tying her with Shannon Miller for the most Olympic medals won by an American female gymnast. Simone hinted that she may compete at the 2024 Olympics in Paris but hasn’t confirmed that — yet.
Since Tokyo, she has focused on her life outside of the gym. She married Jonathan Owens in the spring and became “one of the most vocal advocates for athletes finding space to protect their mental health after her stand in Japan put the issue front and center,” per the Associated Press.
The U.S. Classic serves as a launching pad for USA Gymnastics, acting as “a warm-up of sorts for the national championships, this year scheduled for late August in San Jose,” per AP.