“Celebrating Simone Biles’ Historic Triumph at the 2023 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships”

In 2013, 16-year-old Simone Biles made her Gymnastics World Championships debut in Antwerp, Belgium, and brought home her first-ever gold medal. Now, exactly a decade later, she did it again—in the same city and the same venue, but with a lot more hardware under her belt.

On October 4, Simone Biles 2023 World Championships, Simone Biles won her 20th World’s gold medal in Antwerp as Team USA clinched their record-breaking seventh consecutive title. Her podium finish at the 2023 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at age 26 makes her the oldest US woman to earn any World’s medal, according to NBC Sports.

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This event also marks a comeback for Biles: Her appearance in Belgium is her first international competition in two years. She withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 due to the “twisties”—a potentially dangerous mind-body disconnect in which gymnasts lose spatial awareness midair—and took the time she needed to recover physically and mentally.

“You kind of have to take that mental break, because if not, obviously, your body will decide for you, and that’s what mine did in Tokyo,” Biles told Inside Gymnastics Magazine about her time off. “It was the worst timing, but I’m very happy what happened just because I got to go and really focus on myself. And I’m still continuing to work on myself.”

During her hiatus from the sport, Biles spoke candidly about her mental health and the importance of prioritizing her emotional well-being. “It’s challenging to talk about how you’re doing mentally since it’s an invisible injury,” she told Good Housekeeping in 2022. “People can’t see it, so it’s harder to understand, but I think that’s why it’s so important we feel empowered to open up about it.”

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And she continued to do so even after she announced her comeback this past summer. When asked how she was handling her return to the sport in an Instagram Q&A, she wrote “Lots of therapy,” per People. “I go once a week for almost two hours. I’ve had so much trauma, so being able to work on some of the traumas and work on healing is a blessing.”

While Worlds aren’t over yet—the all-around final will be held on Friday and individual events are scheduled over the weekend—the competition has already been a successful one. Beyond her medal count, Biles has also etched her name in the history books for another reason: In the qualifying rounds on Sunday, Biles became the first woman to land the Yurchenko double pike vault in competition. The incredibly difficult combination—she performed a roundoff to back handspring onto the apparatus, then flipped twice in the air with her body folded and legs straight—will now be called the Biles II. It’s the fifth skill named after her, joining two on floor, one on beam, and an earlier one on vault.

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So yes, there may be more records broken and medals won this weekend, but that’s not really the biggest driver for Biles right now.

“I think what success means to me is a little bit different than before, because before, everyone defined success for me, even if I had my own narrative that I wanted,” Biles told Olympics.com before the World Championships. “So, now, it’s just showing up, being in a good head place, having fun out there, and whatever happens, happens.”


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