Speed Reads

Defying Gravity

Watch Simone Biles win her record 7th U.S. Gymnastics Championship

Simone Biles won her seventh all-around U.S. Gymnastics Championships title in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday, setting yet another record in her gymnastics career. Biles took the highest score in three of the four events — vault, balance beam, and floor exercise — and came in third in the uneven bars. Her overall score, 119.650, was nearly 5 points higher than runner-up Sunisa Lee (114.950) and Jordan Chiles (114.450), who came in third place. 

All three gymnasts are expected to earn spots at July's Tokyo Olympics at the qualifying trails in St. Louis later in June, and Biles is considered a shoo-in. Biles, 24, won five medals in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and she could become the first woman in more than 50 years to win back-to-back all-around gold medals in Tokyo. 

Biles beat Clara Schroth Lomady's record of six U.S. senior women's all-around gymnastic titles, and she is now tied with Alfred Joachim for most championships for any U.S. gymnast, man or woman. And Joachim "competed back in the days when gymnastics included rope climbing," Nancy Armor writes at USA Today. Biles "and Japan's Kohei Uchimura are the only two gymnasts to have won every major international all-around title for the entire Olympic cycle, and Biles would have done so for the second time in this quadrennial if not for taking a year off after winning all the things leading up to the Rio Games."

"It's easy to get complacent about Biles' greatness," Armor writes. "Imagine if, at the height of their careers, Tiger Woods or Serena Williams won every major. Not one or two. Every one. Continuously, for many years. We came to expect it without fully appreciating how lucky we were to see something special." To get a sense of her ability to defy gravity, watch her do her eponymous triple-double, the Biles, in slow motion earlier in the tournament.