Simone Biles clarifies timeline for gymnastics break
Don’t expect to see Simone Biles compete at all in 2017.
“I won’t be competing for at least a year and a half,” Biles said Thursday during a media tour promoting her book, “Courage to Soar,” at the 15-minute mark here. “I’m going to take some time off from the gym, just so that I can go out, have fun and really just embrace the moment that we have. Especially vacation, because I couldn’t do that before with how much I trained. I was always in the gym.
“I think my body needs a rest,” Biles added, smiling. “It’s breaking down on me for a little bit.”
Biles last competed at the Rio Olympics in August, which would mean a break of at least 18 months would go into 2018.
Biles previously said she would take at least one year off from competing, while leaving the door open to possibly make a late run for the October 2017 World Championships in Montreal. Biles said she plans to return at some point to make a run for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Biles’ absence in 2017 means she will pass the baton of world all-around champion to a different gymnast. Biles won three straight world all-around titles from 2013 through 2015, before taking four golds and a bronze in Rio.
An American has taken the last six combined Olympic and world all-around titles, starting in 2011.
The last non-American to win, Aliya Mustafina of Russia in 2010, could compete at 2017 Worlds. Mustafina took bronze behind Biles and Aly Raisman at the Rio Games.
Raisman, like Biles, said she’s taking 2017 off from competition. Gabby Douglas, the 2012 Olympic champion and 2015 World silver medalist, hasn’t said if or when she’ll return to competition.
Biles could follow the trend set by Raisman and Douglas in the last Olympic cycle. That duo took all of 2013 and 2014 off from competition before returning.
Next year’s all-around favorite may well be Laurie Hernandez, who finished second to Biles at the Olympic Trials but did not compete in the all-around in Rio.