U.S. gymnastics trials: Simone Biles wins all-around, makes Olympics for third time

In a historically difficult selection process, one choice was easy.

Simone Biles will be on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team for the Paris Olympics.

The 27-year-old earned her third consecutive Olympic berth by winning the Olympic trial all-around crown Sunday at Target Center. She entered the second day of competition with a 2.5-point lead and finished with a score of 117.225, five points better than her nearest competitor. The seven-time Olympic medalist’s all-around victory earned her an automatic spot on the Olympic team. She could relax while the rest of the competitors retreated backstage to wait for the selection committee to decide the final four positions.

UCLA star Jordan Chiles’ third-place finish in the all-around will likely lock up her second Olympic selection. Reigning Olympic all-around champion Suni Lee, who finished second to Biles in the all-around, and Jade Carey are in position to return to the Olympic stage with top-five all-around finishes as well as individual event medal potential. Lee excels on bars and beam while Carey, the Tokyo Olympic floor champion, could medal in floor and vault.

After her shocking withdrawal from the Tokyo team final, Biles questioned whether she would ever compete again. It wasn’t the physical toll. She just wondered if she could do it all — the daily training, the scrutiny, the attention — mentally.

During her first day back, she didn’t think she could.

“That was the hardest part after Tokyo: I didn’t trust myself to do gymnastics,” Biles said at the U.S. championships last month. “I knew that it would come if I started training again, but it was really hard to trust just myself.”

Biles did not just return, but continued to redefine the sport. Her Biles II vault — a Yurchenko double pike that no other woman in history has dared to attempt in competition — wowed the sold-out crowd again Sunday even though she had so much power that she was forced to run backward several steps to catch herself at the edge of the platform. She still had no problem blowing away the vault competition with a two-day score of 74.400.

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