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Biles is Back!

Simone Biles won multiple medals at the 2023 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, becoming the most decorated gymnast ever.

Simone Biles is horizontal in midair as she reaches for one of the uneven bars.

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images Sport

Simone Biles competes on the uneven bars during the 2023 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships.

Simone Biles is back. The 26-year-old gymnast returned from a two-year break to win the individual all-around on October 6 at the 2023 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. She’s now the most decorated gymnast ever.

Biles scored the individual all-around title two days after leading the U.S. team to their seventh gold medal in a row. She later won three more medals in individual events: gold medals in the floor exercise and balance beam and a silver medal in vault. Biles now has 30 world medals (including 23 gold medals), plus seven Olympic medals—more than anyone else in her sport. Biles is known for attempting some of the most difficult maneuvers ever. In fact, five gymnastics skills are named after her.

Multiple victories may not be the only reason Biles cried happy tears as she stood on the podium. This year’s event took place in Antwerp, Belgium, where Biles won her first world championship a decade ago.

“Ten years ago, I won my first worlds. Now we’re back here. So it was emotional,” Biles told reporters. “It means everything to me, the fight, everything that I’ve put in to get back to this place, feel comfortable and confident enough to compete.”

It’s been only a few months since Biles returned to gymnastics after stepping away in 2021. That year, at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, she decided not to compete. Biles said that the pressure of the sport was affecting her mental health and she needed a break. Since then, she has worked with mental health experts to learn ways to manage stress.

Biles has now reestablished her dominance in the sport. Earlier this year, she won gold at the U.S. Championship. Next, she’s looking to compete at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France.

Did You Know?

A man holds up cutouts of two French bulldogs wearing scarves with the names Lilo and Rambo.

Robert Gauthier—Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

A fan holds up cutouts of Simone Biles’ French bulldogs at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Simone Biles loves dogs. When she was growing up, her family had four German shepherds, and she now has two French bulldogs, named Lilo and Rambo.

“My dogs have made my life better,” she told Today. “They have made me happy when I’m at my low, and even whenever I’m at my high they’ve made it higher.…I wouldn’t trade them for the world.”

What’s the Hardest Sport?

Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images Sport

Is ice hockey the world’s second-hardest sport?

Is it possible to rank sports by difficulty? The sports channel ESPN gave it a try.

A panel of experts created the ESPN list by looking at what 60 sports require in the areas of endurance, strength, power, speed, agility (the ability to change direction quickly), flexibility, nerve (the ability to overcome fear), durability (the ability to handle physical punishment), hand-eye coordination, and analytic aptitude (the ability to make quick mental decisions during a competition).

According to ESPN, boxing is the world’s hardest sport, followed by ice hockey, American football, and basketball. Gymnastics ranked number 8. What was the easiest sport on the list? Fishing.

What would your rankings look like?

The Best Ever?

Alex Livesey/Getty Images Sport

Many people first saw the greatness of Simone Biles when she struck gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics. You can learn more about the life and career of Simone Biles at Britannica.

WORD OF THE DAY

perseverance

PART OF SPEECH:

noun

Definition:

: the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult

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