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Watch: Simone Biles wins 9th U.S. gymnastics title, cites increased therapy before Olympics

Skye Blakely (L), Simone Biles (C) and Kayla DiCello pose after earning respective silver, gold and bronze medals at the 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Sunday at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo by John Cheng and Allison Mott/USA Gymnastics
Skye Blakely (L), Simone Biles (C) and Kayla DiCello pose after earning respective silver, gold and bronze medals at the 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Sunday at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo by John Cheng and Allison Mott/USA Gymnastics

June 3 (UPI) -- Simone Biles continued her torrid twist toward the 2024 Summer Games, sweeping up all five possible gold medals, including a record-extending ninth all-around title at the 2024 U.S. Gymnastics Championships.

Biles, now nearly three years removed from a mental health-related withdrawal from the Olympics in 2021, pushed her national title total to 32 with golds in the vault, bars, floor, beam and all-around Sunday in Fort Worth, Texas.

"I use the phrase 'aging like fine wine,'" Biles told reporters, when asked if she is still improving. "I thought I was molting a while ago, but it's just getting better and better. So we'll see.

"Hopefully we get to ride this out for the rest of the year."

Next, Biles will compete alongside other members of the senior women's national team for one of five spots for Paris 2024 at the Olympic team trials from June 27 to 30 in Minneapolis.

Simone Biles is set to compete later this month in the Olympic trials for a spot on the U.S. women's gymnastics team at Paris 2024. File Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI
Simone Biles is set to compete later this month in the Olympic trials for a spot on the U.S. women's gymnastics team at Paris 2024. File Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI

Skye Blakely, who won all-around silver, and all-around bronze medalist Kayla DiCello -- an alternate on the last Olympic team -- also starred at the women's event, which started Friday at Dickies Arena. Three-time Olympic medalist Suni Lee placed fourth.

Brody Malone, a member of Team USA at the last Olympics, won the men's all-around title Saturday in Fort Worth. Frederick Richard and Khoi Young claimed respective silver and bronze medals.

Simone Biles is on track to represent Team USA at the 2024 Summer Games in Paris. File Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI
Simone Biles is on track to represent Team USA at the 2024 Summer Games in Paris. File Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI

But Biles -- as in most gymnastics events over the last decade -- was the star of the competition. She started her quest for a ninth all-around national title Friday, posting scores of 15.800 and 15.000 on the vault.

She then registered 14.650 on uneven bars and 14.800 on the beam. She finished her night with a score of 15.200 on the floor.

Biles returned to beam on Day 2 and posted a matching score of 14.800. She logged a 15.100 floor routine. Biles over-rotated on her first vault routine of Day 2, resulting in a fall. She stuck the landing on her second try for a score of 15.100. She ended her run with a 14.400 on the bars, resulting in a total score of 119.750 for the all-around crown.

Blakely posted a 113.850. DiCello's 110.800 was just ahead of Lee's 110.650 and fifth-place Jordan Chiles' 110.400.

Blakely placed inside the Top 3 for three of four individual events, with a second-place finish in vault and third in bars and beam. Lee was second in beam, while Carey was third in vault and Chiles was second in bars. DiCello and Tiana Sumanasekera were second and third, respectively, in floor.

One of Biles' most memorable performances at the event came when she was on the sidelines. During Day 2, the most-decorated gymnast of all-time watched as Lee crashed to the ground during her vault routine. Biles then met with Lee backstage and offered her support by being present for her next routine on the bars.

Biles referenced her struggles in Tokyo when asked about why she offered Lee support.

"After Suni vaulted, I knew exactly what was going through her head," Biles said. "I dealt with that in Tokyo. I just knew she needed some encouragement and somebody to trust her gymnastics for her and to believe in her, so that's exactly what I did. i went back there and I went to talk to her.

"I [asked] her: did you get lost or just decide to do a 1 1/2 [rotation]? I was like, don't overthink your gymnastics, you're fine. ... She was like, 'Can you please stand over there for bars?' So that's why I went over there for bars, as well.

"Because I've been in her shoes. I've done that exact thing and I know how traumatizing it is, especially on a big stage like this. And I didn't want her to get in her head."

Biles appears primed to make another run at multiple podiums in Paris. The seven-time Olympic medalist -- with four gold, a silver and two bronze medals -- said her routine for this run will include her increased therapy sessions and detachment from social media feedback.

"As the Olympic games get closer, I usually try not to look at Twitter because I think that's the biggest culprit of everybody adding in their unsolicited opinion, whether they want us to see it or [don't] want us to see it," Biles said.

"So I usually try to shut down that. Just leaning on friends, family, surround ourselves with good people. Just keep a good head on and just start training. That's all we can do at this point, really."

Biles said she sees a therapist weekly and that her mental health is "just as important" as her physical status. She also said she "didn't trust" herself at the 2020 Summer Games in 2021 in Tokyo.

"I do a lot of therapy," Biles said. "So every time I'm in therapy, if I'm like 'Oh, I'm going to die, [the therapist is] like 'Don't say that. That's not good to rehearse and not good to say that' [or] whatever negative thoughts I have. She's like 'this is therapy. It's an open space, so please don't say that. You can't remind yourself of that.'"

Biles is a near lock for one of the five spots on Team USA. DiCello, Chiles, Carey, Lee and Shilese Jones, who was forced out of the Fort Worth competition because of a shoulder injury, Leanne Wong, Sumanasekera, Blakley and Kaliya London are among the other top candidates.

"The girls were really emotional whenever they found out that not only did they make the national team again, but also Olympic trials," Biles said. "It's a huge feat and it's a huge honor.

"It's a step in the right direction and I think it's super exciting for them to have that experience because, no matter what happens at the end of the day, they can say they've been to Olympic trials.

"It's truly a unique experience and it's so much fun once you get there. I'm happy we all get to go together."

Artistic gymnastics events will be held July 27 to Aug. 5 in the Bercy neighborhood of Paris.