Simone Biles sends message to sexual abuse survivors while sweeping U.S. National Championships
Simone Biles sent a message on Sunday night in Boston, and it wasn’t just that the world’s top gymnast is officially back.
The 21-year-old Biles won every single event in the senior women division at the U.S. National Gymnastics Championships on Sunday, less than six months after her return to competitive gymnastics. It was a feat Biles had never accomplished in any major gymnastics competition, and the first women’s sweep at the competition since Dominique Dawes did so in 1994, according to USA Today.
The win marks Biles’ fifth National Championships all-around win in six years, with the only miss coming during her hiatus from competition in 2017. Five championships gives Biles the most of any women in the history of USA Gymnastics.
What made the sweep even more impressive is that the runner-up to Biles was none other than reigning world champion Morgan Hurd. Even with that level of competition, the margin of victory between Biles and second place wasn’t even close.
Biles returned from her post-2016 Olympics hiatus in March, and would soon win the all-around title at the U.S. Classic in July. Her next step in re-asserting her dominance will come in a couple months at the World Championships in Qatar.
While Biles’ wins in the balance beam, vault, uneven bars and floor exercise in Boston were impressive enough, Biles also made a simple, but powerful statement with her wardrobe choice.
She opted to wear a teal leotard, which is the official color of sexual assault awareness according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Biles came forward in January as one of the hundreds of women who were abused by former U.S. Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
The choice was reportedly very much intentional.
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