Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > News

Simone Biles Just Became the Most Decorated Gymnast in History. So What’s Next?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

On Oct. 6, Simone Biles officially became the most decorated gymnast of all time at the 2023 World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. Leading the women’s United States team to its seventh consecutive team win, she won the individual all-around title for the sixth time, even with a fall on the vault. This win solidified her position as the most decorated gymnast in history, surpassing Larisa Latynina of the Soviet Union. Biles also debuted a new skill, which qualifies to be named after her, making this the fifth skill in her name.  

The question now is, what’s next? What’s next for a gymnast who is constantly breaking her own records? Or a gymnast who is so far ahead of her teammates that even with a fall, she comes out on top?  

Biles rose to fame in 2013 after winning the all-around title at the World Championships at the young age of 16. Fast forward to the Rio Olympics in 2016, where she won gold in three of four events, the all-around, and led “The Final Five” to a team gold as well.  

Things took a turn at the Tokyo Olympics when Biles experienced what gymnasts called the “twisties,” a mental block preventing one from turning in the air. This led her to pull out of the all-around competition and simplify a beam routine that earned her a bronze medal. With Biles being a key team member, Team USA only won silver. Biles was criticized by many for being weak or past her career peak. Ultimately, Biles made the decision to prioritize her mental and physical well-being, as competing at this level can be extremely dangerous if not in the right mindset.  

Since then, Biles has been a huge advocate for mental health, talking openly about her struggles. Her resilience and ability to bounce back is inspiring. Beyond the gymnastics world, Simone appeared on Dancing With The Stars in 2017, released a book, and recently married Green Bay Packer’s safety, Jonathan Owens. Ten years after her rise to fame, at age 26 — which is considered almost ancient in gymnast years — Biles has already accomplished so much, but she’s not done just yet.  

After taking a break following the 2021 Olympics, Biles made her comeback in early August, winning the all-around at the U.S. Classic in Illinois. Since then, she has made it clear that the 2024 Paris Olympics is the goal. While the 2023 competition season is wrapping up, we can expect to see Biles back on the scene in early 2024 for some U.S. meets.  

The Olympic trials, the qualifying meet for the Olympics, are set to be held from Jul. 27 to Jul. 30 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In previous years, the top two finishers earned an automatic spot on the Olympic team, and seeing as Biles wins the all-around most of the time, her place on the team should be a given. The rules for the Olympics are ever-changing, but this time, there will be five gymnasts representing each team. A committee will select the remaining three places, and I can’t imagine a world where they wouldn’t choose Biles if it came to it. Biles has proven she’s still the best of the best these past few months, so really, if she wants to be at the Olympics, she will.   

Considering all this, the road to Paris looks bright for Biles. Overall, she appears to be having a great time competing again and cheering on her teammates as they represent Team USA. As a former gymnast (and someone who once met Simone!), I will be glued to the TV come Jul. 26.  

Want to see more HCFSU? Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest! 

Lorelei is a staff writer for Her Campus FSU and a second-year Biology major. In her free time, she enjoys thrifting, reading, obsessing over Taylor Swift, traveling, and rewatching Glee for the hundredth time.