FORT WORTH, Texas – Simone Biles toned it down. A little anyway. And soared even higher.
The 24-year-old gymnastics superstar claimed her record seventh U.S. title Sunday night, delivering another stunning — and stunningly easy — performance that served little doubt the pressure surrounding her bid to become the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic championships in more than 50 years is only pushing her to even greater heights.
Shaking off a somewhat sloppy start Friday, at least by her impeccable standards, Biles put on a four-rotation showcase that highlighted why a GOAT emblem — a nod to her status as the Greatest Of All Time — has become a fixture on her competition leotard.
Her two-day total of 119.650 was nearly five points better than runner-up Sunisa Lee and good friend and teammate Jordan Chiles. Biles' all-around score on Sunday of 60.100 was her highest since 2018 and served notice she is only getting better with the Tokyo Games less than seven weeks away.
It helped that she managed to stay inbounds (mostly) during her floor routine after stepping out three times on Friday. Blame in on the rush she gets when the lights are on and a crowd is in the palm of her hands. She was far more precise in finals save for one tumbling pass where one of her feet stepped over the white border.
Oh, well, something to work on for the Olympic trials later this month in St. Louis.
“It’s so crazy because in training I never go out of bounds and I never have this much power,” Biles said. “But with the adrenaline, that's where it comes.”
While Biles' victory was never in doubt — it rarely has been during her nearly eight-year reign atop the sport — she remains in no mood to coast.