Kansas gymnast earns trip to Paris for team USA (2024)

Kansas gymnast earns trip to Paris for team USA (1)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — They all had a reason to come back. Every single one of them.

Simone Biles to move past those wrenching two weeks in Japan three years ago, when the gymnastics superstar prioritized her mental health and safety over glory, a decision that inspired some and maddened others.

Suni Lee to prove — perhaps to herself most of all — that the all-around gold medal she earned while Biles watched from the stands wasn't a fluke.

Jordan Chiles to turn the team silver she helped secure at the 2020 Games into gold.

Jade Carey to be an official member of the five-woman Olympic squad after earning her way to Tokyo as an individual qualifier, a pathway not available to the U.S. this time around and frankly, one she had no interest in exploring again anyway.

They're all stepping back into the unique spotlight — oh, and 16-year-old newcomer Hezly Rivera, too — only the sport's biggest stage can provide.Leanne Wong,a graduate ofBlue Valley High Schoolin Overland Park, Kansas and Joscelyn Roberson are going to Paris as traveling replacement Athletes for the USA Women's team.

Their reasons are deeply personal. Their motivation, however, is not.

“This is definitely our redemption tour,” Biles said after sewing up a third trip to the Olympics by winning the U.S. trials on Sunday night. “I feel like we all have more to give.”

Perhaps no one more than Biles, who at 27 is the oldest American woman to make an Olympic gymnastics team since the 1950s. She never expected to still be doing this nearly a decade after becoming a crossover sensation at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

And here she is. Still working. Still pushing. Not to shut up the critics who still flood her mentions on social media wondering if she'll “quit” again, but because she remains determined to extract everything she can out of her remarkable talent.

“Nobody’s forcing me to do it,” said Biles, who posted a two-day total of 117.225 to claim the all-around by nearly six points over Lee. “I wake up every day and choose to grind in the gym and come out here and perform for myself. Just to remind myself that I can still do it.”

And do it at a level that no one else in her sport — and when she's at her best, maybe sports in general — can match.

A trip to France has never really been in doubt since Biles returned from a two-year break last summer. All she's done over the last 12 months is win a sixth world all-around title and capture her eighth and ninth national championships — both records — while doing the hardest gymnastics of her life.

She will be a prohibitive favorite when she steps onto the Bercy Arena floor though there is plenty to work on before women's qualifying on July 28. Yet there are things to clean up over the next four weeks.

Biles backpedaled after landing her Yurchenko double pike vault, a testament to both the vault's difficulty and the immense power she generates during a skill few male gymnasts try and even fewer land as cleanly.

She hopped off the beam after failing to land her side aerial, though she wasn't quite as frustrated as she was during a sloppy performance on Friday that left her uttering an expletive for all the world to see.

Biles finished with a flourish on floor exercise, her signature event. Though there was a small step out of bounds, there was also the unmatched world-class tumbling that recently drew a shoutoutfrom pop star Taylor Swift, whose song “Ready For It” opens Biles' routine.

She stepped off the podium to a standing ovation, then sat down atop the steps to take in the moment in what could be her last competitive round on American soil for quite a while. Maybe ever.

Biles sidestepped questions about what lies ahead. That can wait. It's been a long, winding road back to this moment. She's intent on trying to enjoy it even while being part of a team that will have “a lot of weight on our shoulders.”

She believes she and her teammates are in a better position to handle it. That's the enduring

“It's really nice that Tokyo gave us that opportunity to open up that stage for that talk," Biles said. “And so I think now athletes are a little bit more in tune and we just trust what our gut is saying.”

And Biles’ gut told her that if she wanted to come back, she needed to do it on her terms. That meant taking intentional steps to make sure her life is no longer defined by her gymnastics.

She married Chicago Bears safety Jonathan Owens in the spring of 2023 and the two are building a house in the northern Houston suburbs they hope to move into shortly after Biles returns from Paris.

Biles heads to France as perhaps the face of the U.S. Olympic movement, though she's well aware that more than a few of the millions that will tune in to watch next month will be checking to see if the demons that derailed her in Tokyo resurface.

And while there are still moments of anxiety — including at last year's world championships — she has put safeguards in place to protect herself. She meets with a therapist weekly, even during competition season, something she didn't do in preparation for the 2020 Games.

The Americans will take their oldest women's team ever to the games, as Biles' unrivaled longevity — she hasn't lost a meet she's started and finished since 2013 — and the easing of rules around name, image and likeness rules at the NCAA level allowed Carey (24), Chiles (23) and Lee (21) to continue to compete while cashing in on their newfound fame at the same time.

They have relied on that experience during a sometimes harrowing meet that saw leading contendersShilese Jones,Skye BlakelyandKayla DiCelloexit with leg injuries that took them out of the mix weeks before the potential realization of a lifelong dream.

Watching good friends leave the arena in tears offered a reminder of how thin the line between making it and not making it can be. Biles has been on the right side of that line longer than she ever anticipated. She's going to try and enjoy it, pressure and all.

She may have gotten ahead of herself in 2021. She's intent on not letting that happen this time around.

“I feel like success is just what I make it,” she said. “I feel like right now I’ve been successful of competing at Olympic trials and making the Paris Olympic team. So then we’ll see from there on out.”

Kansas gymnast earns trip to Paris for team USA (2024)


Who are the five gymnasts going to Paris? ›

Here Are the Five Team USA Female Gymnasts Who Qualified for the 2024 Olympics. Veterans Simone Biles, Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Jade Carey—plus newbie Hezly Rivera—are going to Paris!

Who is on the USA gymnastics Olympic team in 2024? ›

On June 30, Team USA named the five gymnasts competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics – which begin July 26. Simone Biles, Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles, Jade Carey and Hezly Rivera are on the team with traveling replacement athletes Joscelyn Roberson and Leanne Wong.

How much money does a gymnast make? ›

Professional Gymnast Salary
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$80,000$6,666
75th Percentile$64,500$5,375
25th Percentile$47,000$3,916

Who is going to the Paris Olympics for gymnastics? ›

After two-days of ultra high-stakes competition at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, gymnastics, the women's team for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 has been decided. Four Olympic veterans - Simone Biles, Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles and Jade Carey - will lead 16-year-old Hezly Rivera as she makes her Olympic debut in Paris.

Is Simone Biles going to Paris 2024? ›

Simone Biles is headed to the Olympic Games Paris 2024 after handily winning the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for gymnastics, locking her spot on a third-straight American squad. She has seven previous Olympic medals from her appearances at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

Who is in the US women's gymnastics team for Paris? ›

The team includes a quartet of veterans who competed at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics − Simone Biles, Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles and Jade Carey − plus a 16-year-old newbie, Hezly Rivera. Joscelyn Roberson and Leanne Wong will serve as traveling alternates.

How old was Simone Biles in her first Olympics? ›

Back in 2016, Biles was a 19-year-old gymnast, about to take part in Olympic competition for the first time. Raisman, an eventual six-time gold medallist, was the US gymnastic team's "veteran" at 22 years old -- which led to some ribbing, albeit good-natured, from Biles.

Is Jade Carey going to 2024 Olympics? ›


– Jade Carey's Olympic dreams have become a reality once again. On Sunday evening, the Oregon State gymnast delivered an outstanding performance on the second day of the 2024 Olympic Trials, securing her place on the U.S. Olympic Team for the Paris Games.

How many Olympics for Simone Biles? ›

Biles has competed in two editions of the Summer Olympics: The 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, and the 2021 Games in Tokyo.

Who is the richest female gymnast? ›

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Simone Biles is currently valued at $16 million — a figure that underscores her success and influence within and beyond the world of gymnastics. This valuation reflects not only her athletic achievements but also her savvy business acumen and appealing personal brand.

How much do Simone Biles weigh? ›

Who is the best female gymnast in the world? ›

American gymnast Simone Biles holds the record for the most World Championship medals (30), as well as the most gold medals (23) in World Championship history for an athlete of either sex. Ref.

Is Suni going to Paris 2024? ›

The U.S. Women's Gymnastics team heading to the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics includes Simone Biles, Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles, Jade Carey, and Hezly Rivera. Lee, the reigning all-around gold medalist, is heading to the Olympics for a second time, while Biles will be making the trip for a third time.

How many female gymnasts go to the Olympics in 2024? ›

The U.S. has set its women's and men's gymnastics teams for Paris. The group features five Olympians, including Simone Biles, who is competing in her third Summer Games, and five who will make their Olympic debuts at the Bercy Arena.

How to qualify for gymnastics olympics 2024? ›

Specialists will have another opportunity to qualify through the Apparatus World Cup series in 2024. The two best eligible male and female gymnasts on each apparatus from the Olympic Qualification World Cup Ranking List, based on their best three results out of four in the series, will qualify for the Paris Olympics.

Who is on the men's gymnastics team? ›

Selected to the team at the conclusion of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Target Center were 2023 World team bronze medalists Asher Hong and Paul Juda, 2024 U.S. all-around champion and 2022 World horizontal bar gold medalist Brody Malone, 2021 pommel horse world champion Stephen Nedoroscik and 2023 World all- ...

What team is Katelyn Ohashi on? ›

Katelyn Ohashi
LevelJunior Elite (2009–12) Senior Elite (2013) Level 10 (2015) NCAA (2016–19)
Years on national team2009–2013 (US)
College teamUCLA Bruins (2016–19)
13 more rows

Where is Jordan Chiles from? ›

Early and personal life. Chiles was born in Tualatin, Oregon, on April 15, 2001, to Timothy and Gina Chiles. She was named after American basketball player Michael Jordan. She is one of five children, her siblings being Jazmin, Jade, Tajmen, and Tyrus.


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