Simone Biles Became First Woman Ever to Win Seven U.S. Championship Titles

Simone Biles, an unparalleled force in the realm of gymnastics, yet again etched her name in the annals of the sport's history. This time, she achieved a feat no other woman had - winning seven U.S. championship titles. At a tender age of 22, back in 2019, Biles shattered records to become the world championships' most adorned gymnast. Now, at just 24 years old, she continues to shatter glass ceilings, adding another noteworthy accomplishment to her already impressive list, standing alone as the only woman to secure seven U.S. titles.

Securing her seventh title, Simone Biles made history yet again at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships held in Fort Worth, Texas on Sunday. The four-time Olympic gold medalist outdid herself with a total score of 119.65 points, succeeding over her competitor Sunisa Lee by a margin of 4.7 points. The competition kicked off on Friday, where she set the tone with an impressive 15.800 vault score in the initial rotation.

Fast forward to Sunday, Biles shone in the all-around events scoring a cumulative 60.100 points and achieving no less than 14.700 points across all individual events. Alongside her historic seventh championship win, Biles was also declared the winner in the vault, balance beam, and floor exercises.

Despite a shaky start to the tournament, four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles still managed to captivate spectators. Her initial missteps on the floor exercise - stepping out of bounds three times - she attributed to an adrenaline rush. However, she soon found her footing and flawlessly executed two aerial vault routines, known as the Cheng and the Amanar. Biles is recognized for these stunning acrobatics, which are now part of her signature repertoire. Although she didn't perform the renowned Yurchenko double pike vault that she previously amazed audiences with, Biles showcased mastery in two of her eponymous stunts: the Biles I and the Biles II. The Biles I involves performing a double backflip with two twists, ending with a double-double dismount from the balance beam. The Biles II, on the other hand, is a complex triple-double performance on the floor, composed of a double backflip followed by three twists. This triumphant weekend saw Biles break her tie with the late Clara Schroth Lomady, who had won six titles from 1945 to 1952 under the Amateur Athletic Union, the then-regulating body for gymnastics. Biles's seventh title matched her up with Alfred Jochim (1925-1930; 1933) as record holders for most titles held by any gymnast in U.S history. However, Biles alone holds the honor of being the only female athlete to achieve such a feat.

Remarkably, the gifted gymnast who hails from Texas has been victorious in every senior nationals she's participated in since 2013, clinching every all-around contest she's competed in starting with the U.S. Championships in 2013, according to CNN. This impressive feat comes merely three weeks ahead of the Olympic Trials slated for June 24 and 27 in St. Louis. It's widely anticipated that Biles will be heading to Tokyo, provided the Olympics aren't delayed further or called off due to a recent spike in COVID-19 infections in Japan.

Despite this accomplishment, Biles managed to maintain her characteristic coolness and humility. "I think it was important to me to really savor this experience because I may not compete in any more championships," she remarked following the competition over the weekend. "However, we're on the path to Tokyo so we've got trials coming up after this and we need to fully embrace these moments. I believe each championship is memorable for varying reasons, but this one is particularly noteworthy because it leads us to Tokyo. We arrived here and accomplished our goals."

Now, Biles is surely gearing up to bring her A-game to Tokyo, where she'll need four medals to pass Russian competitor Vitaly Scherbo as the most decorated gymnast at both the Olympic Games and worlds. If she scores five medals (which she already did at the last World Championships in 2019 - NBD!), she'd be tied with former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina's nine Olympic gymnastics gold medal record...all well before her 25th birthday. Casual.

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