On Thursday, four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles told reporters that next month she’ll be in the gym full-time and ready to prepare for Tokyo 2020.
The 20-year-old has not competed since the Rio 2016 Olympics and has spent the past year taking a break from gymnastics. She published a book and reached the semifinals of Dancing with the Stars, among other things. But now that she’s rested, Biles plans on focusing on her training starting Nov. 1 with the expectation to return to competition in 2018.
“Probably Classics [a pre-nationals tune-up in July], but not doing all events, probably two [of four apparatuses],” she told NBC Sports. “I would still be training all four events at Classics, but only competing two, just to get back into that competition mode. Then the goal is P&Gs [Championships in August] to compete all [events], obviously, and then continue from there.”
Since Biles has been away for awhile, she said she’s going to have to work slowly to get back to competition form.
“It’s going to be rough,” she added. “But the muscle memory is there because I’ve come and I’ve played in the gym. All of my skills are basically still there. There are a couple of skills, like on [balance] beam, that I haven’t done yet, like a dismount, because why would I just chuck that? There’s no way. And I haven’t vaulted since the Olympics.”
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Biles also has a new coach since her longtime coach Aimee Boorman moved away from their training facilities in Texas to Florida. The new coach has yet to be revealed.
If Biles qualifies for the Tokyo roster, she could become the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic all-around titles since Vera Caslavska in 1968. But first she just needs to get back into the swing of things.