Simone Biles dominates field at U.S. Classic ahead of Olympic return in Paris this summer

Simone Biles' road to the Olympics later this summer in Paris is off to a great start

Simone Biles won the U.S. Classic on Saturday night in Connecticut
Simone Biles won the U.S. Classic on Saturday night in Connecticut. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Simone Biles’ road to Paris is off to a great start.

Biles made her season debut Saturday night at the U.S. Classic at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, and she wasted no time dominating the field. She won the all-around title with 59.5 points, which marked her highest all-around score since the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Her score was nearly two full points ahead of runner-up Shilese Jones, too.

Biles had little issue in any of the events throughout the competition. She completed the Yurchenko double pike, a move that now bears her name and is widely considered the most difficult, on the vault to earn a 15.600. That was the highest mark of the night anywhere.

Biles took second on the beam, and she won the floor event with a 14.800 score. She finished strong through the uneven bars, too, and finished behind only Jones. Suni Lee beat Biles on the beam.

Biles was one of eight Olympic and world championship medalists competing, too, including Lee and Gabby Douglas — though Douglas pulled out of the competition after struggling on the uneven bars in her first rotation. Lee only competed on vault, beam and floor. Fellow Tokyo Olympians Jordan Chiles and Jade Carey finished in third and fourth in the event, too.

Biles hasn’t competed since October, when she led Team USA to the team title at the 2023 World Gymnastics Championships in Belgium. Biles competed in every apparatus in that competition while picking up her 20th gold medal and the seventh straight for the United States in world championships. She also won a historic eighth all-around title at the U.S. Championship last year, which made her the first gymnast, man or woman, to win eight all-around national titles. She pulled that off at 26, too, which made her the oldest woman to do so.

Naturally, that earned Biles The Associated Press’ Female Athlete of the Year award last year. She beat out former Iowa Hawkeyes basketball star Caitlin Clark and Spanish football star and Ballon d’Or winner Aitana Bonmatí in the voting.

Biles has made it clear she will compete at the Olympics later this summer in Paris, where she’s sure to be one of the most-followed athletes as the sports world floods France. It will mark her first Olympics since she experienced the twisties at the 2020 games in Tokyo — which knocked her largely out of competition in Japan. So far, though, it seems all is well for Biles in the leadup to Paris.

The Olympic trials are set for June 27-30 in Minneapolis, about a month before the Olympics kick off.