FOUR times Olympic gold medallist Simone Biles will return to competition in early August at the U.S. Classic in Chicago, USA Gymnastics said on Wednesday, in what will be her first event since the Tokyo Games in 2021.
The 26-year-old will take part in the single-day event on Aug 5 having been out of action for the past two years following her withdrawal from several events in Tokyo.
Biles, who won four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, cited the pressure of living up to expectations and a need to protect her mental health for her decision to pull out of events in Tokyo, where she won a bronze on the balance beam and a silver in the team competition, from which she withdrew after one vault.
That took her Olympic tally to seven medals, equalling Shannon Miller as the American female gymnast with the most Games medals.
Sunisa Lee, who shone in her compatriot's absence by winning the all-around competition in Tokyo, and Jade Carey, who won gold on floor, are also part of the elite women's field.
"The current (registration) list includes 12 Olympic and 16 World Championships team roster members," said USA Gymnastics in a statement.
"Together, they have won 60 Olympic and World Championships medals, with 12 from the Games and 48 from Worlds. Those tallies include a combined 46 World or Olympic medals earned by Biles (32), Carey (8) and Lee (6)."
Biles, who recently married NFL player Jonathan Owens, used the US Classic to return from a two-year break in 2018 following her participation in Rio. — Reuters