Five months into her return to full-time training and 19 months since her last competition at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Simone Biles is amazed at what she can accomplish.
Biles, is working every day but Sunday at the family-owned World Champions Centre in suburban Montgomery County alongside new coaches Laurent Landi and Cecile Canqueteau-Landi and her new training partner, 2016 Olympic team alternate Ashton Lockler.
She won’t compete again until late July, but as her time in the gym increases while red-carpet walks, award shows and promotional appearances decrease, Biles and Landi agree that things are going remarkably well.
Landi, said Biles has shown she can perform her Rio routines at a top level while also working in new elements.
Detailing event by event progress, Biles has added an extra half-twist into the foam practice pits on each of the two vaults she performed in Rio and on floor has added a forward tumbling salto skill to fulfill a new requirement in the International Gymnastics Federation’s scoring system.
Her floor music is a Middle Eastern motif — “different than anything I have done but still fast and upbeat” — and her balance beam is about the same as the one she performed in Rio, with the addition of a half-turn on one of her opening moves.
For uneven bars… “It’s still not typically my favorite event,” Biles said. “I have to put in the extra work on that event. Bars is more mental.”
Landi said Biles’ Rio routine on bars, updated to deal with changes in the code of points scoring system, is good enough to get her to finals at major events.
Overall, I think Biles is doing great. Its extremely hard to come back to the gym after being in the Olympics. I knew that she would do great because she is an extremely talented gymnast. I hope she continues to work hard and master her new skills even more.