Simone Biles Performs Historic Gymnastic Routine And Earns 6th US All-Around Gymnastics Title
US Olympic gymnast Simone Biles made history twice over the past weekend at the 2019 US Gymnastics Championship, where she took home a sixth national title.
During the competition in Kansas City, Biles made history on August 9 by performing a double-double dismount, which are two twists and two somersaults, off of a balance beam, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The same day, the 22-year-old gymnast performed a triple-double during the championship, two flips and three full twists, but did not stick the landing. On August 11, she attempted it again and completed it, NPR reported. Biles is the first woman to complete the triple-double in competition.
This is not the first time Biles has made history in the US Olympics. In 2018, Biles became the first woman to win five US all-around titles, according to the United States Olympic Committee. She was 21-years-old when she won the title. The gymnast is also the first to win all five gold medals since Dominique Dawes in 1994.
“Being the first to sweep all the titles since Dominique Dawes is inspiring,” Biles said at the time. “It’s kind of cool to follow that path.”
Before performing over the weekend, Biles broke down in tears how the committee and USA Gymnastics failed to protect her and her teammates from Larry Nassar, the former doctor who worked for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics. On August 7, the 22-year-old slammed the two organizations on Twitter.
“The more I learn, the more I hurt. USAG failed us. USOC failed us. Many failed us. And they continue to fail us,” Biles tweeted on August 7, along with an article from The Washington Post about US Senators pushing for a bipartisan bill to bring increased oversight to all Olympic sports. “Real and actual change isn’t easy but it’s clear there’s a lot more work that needs to be done.”
The bill, which was introduced by Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) comes after the Senate released its report from an 18-month investigation on July 30 that discovered the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Gymnastics “knowingly concealed” the sexual abuse of hundreds of gymnasts, The New York Times previously reported. The bipartisan bill, called the Empowering Olympic and Amateur Athletes Act of 2019, would hold the two organizations responsible for its systemic abuse.
While speaking with reporters after a training session on August 8, she said training and competing can be a reminder of the abuse she and hundreds of other women had to endure.
"It's not easy being out here," Biles previously told CBS News. "I feel every day is a reminder of what I went through... But it's hard coming here for an organization having had them failed us so many times. You had one job. You literally had one job and you couldn't protect us."
"It becomes a problem whenever we work with future people... how can we trust them?" Biles continued. Nassar was sentenced to up to 125 years for sexually abusing teens at a Michigan training center last year, in addition to 40 to 175 years in prison in another Michigan county, The Guardian previously reported. He was also sentenced to a 60-year federal term for possession of child abuse images, according to the publication.
On August 7, former Michigan State University dean William Strampel was sentenced to a year in Ingham County Jail after a jury found there was evidence that the former dean showed “complete indifference” on whether Nassar adhered to the protocols meant to decrease the risk for the university after a sexual assault complaint was made in 2014, USA Today previously reported. Strampel was sentenced by Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk to 11 months in prison on a felony misconduct in office charge and one year each for two misdemeanor charges of willful neglect of duty. The former dean will serve his sentences at the same time and has one day credit for time served on each count.
"You could at least express sorrow for the impact that it’s had on these people," Draganchuk said while announcing Strampel’s sentence. "You don’t have to admit criminal conduct to do that."
About the Author
Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.