Many of the United States' top women’s artistic gymnasts competed May 21-22 in Indianapolis at the U.S. Classic, the final opportunity for female gymnasts to qualify for the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships (which determine qualifiers for Olympic Trials).
Amid a packed U.S. sports calendar, going directly up against the NBA playoffs and the PGA Championship, performances at the U.S. Classic vaulted the sport of gymnastics squarely back into the spotlight as the Tokyo Olympic Games rapidly approach.
Simone Biles makes more history
In typical Simone Biles fashion, the four-time Olympic champion went viral as she returned to competition for the first time in more than 18 months donning a leotard with a rhinestone goat on the back.
Biles debuted a new skill on vault -- the Yurchenko double pike -- becoming the first woman to ever attempt the move in competition. The 24-year-old's feat ignited debate across the sports world over whether the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique, the international governing body for gymnastics, is properly valuing the vault's difficulty.
Along the way, Biles took the all-around win with 58.4 points despite falling off the uneven bars and putting her hands down on the floor exercise.
Chellsie Memmel stages comeback
2008 Olympian Chellsie Memmel competed for the first time in nine years. The 32-year-old mother of two hit her opening vault but fell off her other event, beam.
Laurie Hernandez, the only other active Rio Olympic team member in addition to Biles, competed on beam and vault. Hernandez returned to the sport in February after a four-and-a-half-year break from competition.
U.S. National Team
Olympic team hopefuls including Grace McCallum, Morgan Hurd, MyKayla Skinner and Jordan Chiles showed out at the U.S. Classic, further building the anticipation for the final stretch of competitions before the Tokyo squad is picked.
Team USA's biggest names will be back in action at the U.S. Championships from June 3-6 and Olympic Trials from June 24-27.