- Simone Biles gave her biggest hint yet that she isn’t finished with competitive gymnastics.
- Shortly after the Tokyo Olympics, the 24-year-old star told her coach she’s “thinking about 2024.”
- Biles had previously suggested that she was “leaving the door open” to an Olympic return in Paris.
Simone Biles long planned for the Tokyo Olympics to be the final major competitive gymnastics event of her illustrious career.
But if the past 18 months have taught us anything, it’s that plans change.
Biles dropped her biggest hint yet that she’ll extend her gymnastics career for another three years to compete at the next Olympic Games. Shortly after she returned home from the Tokyo Olympics this summer, the 24-year-old superstar texted coach Cecile Canqueteau-Landi that she’s “thinking about 2024.”
After the credits rolled in the finale of Biles’ Facebook Watch docuseries, “Simone vs Herself,” Canqueteau-Landi speaks with one of Religion of Sports’ producers about the seven-time medalist’s future on the mat. When a voice behind the camera asks if “we’ll see [Biles] again,” the French coach smiles coyly and nods.
“Actually, she texted me a couple days ago, and she said… ‘Haha, tell me why I’m thinking about 2024,'” Canqueteau-Landi recalled. “And I sent a little gif like ‘Hmm,’ and she responded with a haha.”
Biles had previously suggested that she was “leaving the door open” to an Olympic return in Paris, but how serious she was about the prospect of continuing to train and compete for an additional three years remained unclear. Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics this summer, Biles shared that she became depressed and constantly slept after the games were first postponed.
The worst part of the delay, she had said, was having to spend another year representing USA Gymnastics after the organization enabled disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar to sexually abuse hundreds of minors, including Biles herself. It’s hard to believe that she’d volunteer for another three years with her sport’s controversial governing body. Still, the texts to Canqueteau-Landi point to a level of consideration and legitimacy that was formerly uncertain.
The most decorated gymnast in the history of her sport has nothing left to prove in the gym. But if Biles were to end her career after this summer’s Olympics, she certainly would not be walking away at the peak of her game.
The 4-foot-8 dynamo struggled with her mental health and the twisties — a dangerous phenomenon that causes disorientation in the air — throughout her time in Tokyo. She withdrew from four individual medal events after leaving the floor during the team all-around final when all was said and done.
Biles came back home with two medals — a silver and a bronze. In 2016, she won four golds and a bronze.
“If you would’ve told me a year ago I’m only walking out of 2020 Olympics with two medals, I would’ve cried,” Biles admitted during the docuseries finale. “I walked away with two medals I didn’t think we would get, and in one peace.”
“So I’m not mad,” she added.
Not mad isn’t a fitting end to a career as dominant and iconic as the one Biles has enjoyed. Paris 2024 could offer an opportunity for gymnastics’ greatest of all time — who would be 27 years old at the games — to finish on a high note. Perhaps Biles feels similarly.
Check out part two of the “Simone vs Herself” finale below. Be sure to stay until the end of the credits to watch Canqueteau-Landi discuss her text conversation with Biles about 2024.