by Emma Hurst
Even Simone Biles, who recently swept the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships, doubts herself sometimes.
The 21-year-old gymnast won her fifth senior women’s all-around title at this year’s U.S. Gymnastics Championships. With this title, Biles makes history as the first woman to win five all-around titles. Biles also won a number of other U.S. Championship titles, such as her first national title in uneven bars, her third in both balance beam and floor exercise and her fourth in vault. Biles’ all-around score was 119.850, an astounding 6.55 points ahead of Morgan Hurd, who was the 2017 all-around title winner. Biles’ impressive wins are even more outstanding considering the fact that she had taken 23 months off from competing, with this being only her second competition following that break.
While Biles seemed fully confident on the floor, she has stated that this was not the case. Biles opened up about the pressure of it all, and stated “I knew I was capable of [scoring this well], but I kind of thought I was going to be a nervous wreck and fall apart.” As trained as Biles is, she proves that even the most professional athletes must still cope with the mental side of their sport. However, Biles competed with grace and power, wiping out the competition and earning the titles.
The gymnast, although she had superb results, admitted that she still has self-improvements to make. Biles said, “Confidence-wise and consistency, I think we still have ways to go before I get to what it was in Rio.” Biles’ expertise with her sport manifested itself in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and now she has put her skills on display at the championships. 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin tells of her insight into Biles’s bright future, stating “It truly is a mental game at this point, but I have no doubt that if she continues doing what she’s doing there’s not a chance in the world that anybody is going to be able to beat her.”
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