The artistic gymnastics competition at the 2024 Paris Olympics promises to be a thrilling competition with the potential for shattered records and historic moments. 

As the spotlight shifts to Paris and the anticipation builds, here's a look at some of the top gymnastics storylines that have emerged since the Tokyo Olympics. 

Simone Biles cements ‘GOAT’ status

If Simone Biles decided to hang up her leotard following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, her legacy in the sport would have already been solidified. With seven Olympic medals —  four of them gold —  and 25 world medals, including 19 titles at the time, the American had already etched her name in the history books with results that will be talked about for generations. 

Fans around the world wondered if Biles would return to the sport following the Tokyo Games, where she withdrew from five finals because of a mental block. However, after taking some time away from the sport, Biles decided she wanted redemption. 

Biles returned as though she never left, winning the all-around title at the 2023 Core Hydration Classic — her first meet in two years — and winning a record-breaking eighth all-around national title just a few weeks later. 

Biles made her return to the international stage at the 2023 World Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, competing in the very same arena she won her first world title a decade earlier. She made her mark early on in the competition when she landed the Yurchenko double pike on vault during the qualification round. Biles put the world on notice when she first completed the vault in 2021 at the U.S. Classic with the hope of getting it named after her at the Tokyo Olympics. (A skill must be successfully landed in an international competition to get it named in the Code of Points.) However, Biles opted to complete a different vault at the Games, meaning the Yurchenko double pike would have to wait a little bit longer to be named. Two years later in Antwerp, as the first woman to perform the skill at a world championships (and the only woman to date), the vault now bears Biles' name in the Code of Points, bringing her repertoire of eponymous skills to five. 

Biles further cemented her name in the history books by adding five more medals to her collection, bringing her tally to a record-setting 30 world medals. With 37 world and Olympic medals combined, Biles is officially the most decorated gymnast of all time — male or female — with the ability to climb as high as second in the all-time Olympic medal rankings for women’s gymnastics in Paris.  

U.S. men end medal drought

The U.S. men’s gymnastics team ended its nine-year world-medal drought at the 2023 World Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium with a bronze medal. The last time the U.S. men won a team medal at worlds was 2014, and although they remained in the medal conversation in the years that followed, nations such as Japan, China and Russia always reigned supreme. 

Determined to get back on the medal podium after finishing fifth in Tokyo, as well as at the world championships in 2022, the U.S. men got the job done in Antwerp with the help of a few rising stars. The team included three gymnasts who had never competed in a world championship before —  Frederick RichardPaul Juda and Khoi Young —  along with Tokyo Olympian Yul Moldauer and 2022 world team member Asher Hong

In the final rotation, the U.S. men finished the competition on the high bar, with Richard sealing the deal with a 14.533 — the highest score of the day at the event. 

Richard continued the U.S. men’s historic run in Antwerp with a bronze medal in the all-around, making him just the fourth all-around medalist ever for the American men at the world championships, as well as the youngest U.S. all-around medalist. Young also brought home some individual hardware with a silver medal on pommel horse and vault.

Gabby Douglas eyes return in Paris

The field of contenders for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team got a little bit deeper in July 2023 when three-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas announced that she was back in the gym training for the Paris Games. 

Douglas, who made history at the 2012 London Olympics when she became the first Black woman to win the Olympic all-around title in gymnastics, last competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, where she helped the U.S. women’s team defend its gold medal. Although Douglas never made an official retirement announcement following Rio, she stepped away from the sport and did not attempt to make a run at Tokyo. It wasn’t until watching the 2022 U.S. Championships nearly six years later that Douglas felt a desire to get back in the gym. Now, with her love for the sport revitalized, Douglas is back and hoping to make history once again. 

“I didn't want to end this sport how I did in 2016,” Douglas shared on Hallie Jackson NOW. “I wanted to take a step back and work on my mental state. I love gymnastics and love pushing myself ... I never wanted to walk away on a bad day."

If she is named to the 2024 team, Douglas will be the first American woman since Dominique Dawes to make three Olympic teams. Her 2016 teammate, Biles, is also eyeing her third Olympic team.

Historic medal finishes

Take a look back at the historic medal finishes from the 2023 World Gymnastics Championships:

  • The U.S. women won a record seventh consecutive team title, breaking the tie it held with the Chinese men, who won six in a row from 2003 to 2014. 
  • The Brazilian women won a team medal for the first time at a world championships, finishing second behind the U.S. women. 
  • The French women won the bronze medal —  the first world team medal for France in 73 years. 
  • Algeria’s Kaylia Nemour won the first-ever world medal for her country by placing second on the uneven bars. Nemour is also the first gymnast representing an African nation to win a world medal. 
  • In the men’s floor exercise final, Artem Dolgopyat won Israel its first-ever world gold medal. 
  • With the gold medal on vault, Jake Jarman became only the fourth world medalist for the British men and the first gold medalist on vault.