July 16, 2024

After stepping back from most events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the age of 24, Simone Biles bounced back in 2023 with remarkable success. At the World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium last year where she first made her mark, Biles clinched the title of the most decorated gymnast ever.

Simone Biles’ longtime personal coach, Cecile Landi decided to take a new role as the head coach for Georgia’s women’s gymnastics team, leaving World Champions Centre where she has been working since 2017. Recently, Landi joined the podcast, “All Things Gymnastics,” where she discussed the reactions of her athletes to this announcement about leaving WCC. Interestingly, her remarks also hinted at the possibility of Simone Biles’ retirement.

Speculation surrounding Simone Biles’ retirement
Cecile Landi will join the GymDogs after the Paris Olympics, while Laurent Landi, her husband will remain at the World Champions Centre for the next year. A podcast hosted by Brittany Buhler, welcomed Cecile, a 1996 Olympian from France. When asked if she was excited about her new role, Landi candidly expressed a mix of emotions, conveying both excitement and a tinge of sadness.
Simone Biles

She revealed, ‘I’ve been wanting to do this but, you know, also sad… It’s all good.’ However, what perhaps intrigued listeners even more was Landi’s reactions to the athletes, particularly those aged 20-24. Reflecting on their response, she shared, ‘The 20-24 are like, okay, I’m leaving, she’s leaving. It’s all good.’

Cecile Landi further said about her senior gymnast’s reaction, revealing, “The 25 are like, okay, at least I get Laurent for one more year.” This statement subtly acknowledges the trend of elite female gymnasts retiring by their early to mid-twenties. Speculation naturally arises as to whether her remarks might be about Simone Biles who is 27.

In contrast, Simone Biles hasn’t officially declared retirement. She mentioned, last year in September, after overcoming twisties that led to a two-year break, “I haven’t retired though.” As per Olympics.com, Biles had previously suggested that the Tokyo Games might mark her final appearance.

Nevertheless, she wasn’t prepared to retire just yet with the Tokyo Games not going as expected. The ongoing speculation lingers about whether the Paris Olympics might mark her final competitive appearance. If so, she is poised to make history in gymnastics as she is preparing to perform the hardest vault move.

Biles set to make history
Biles has already qualified for the Paris Olympics and is putting in the work, especially focusing on mastering the most challenging vault in women’s gymnastics – the Yurchenko double pike. Last year, Biles made history at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships by becoming the first woman to successfully execute the Yurchenko double pike, a daring move, and it was named “The Biles II” after that.

It’s worth noting, that she has earned the distinction of having five moves named after her in the international rule book. Among these moves are one on the balance beam, two on the floor exercise, and two on the vault. The Biles II, in particular, involves a backflip off the vault followed by two full rotations in a pike position before landing—a feat that requires exceptional strength, precision, and courage.
Simone Biles

Last year, when Biles executed the Yurchenko double pike, it earned a remarkable score of 15.766 despite voluntarily taking a half-point deduction so that coach Laurent Landi could stand on the mat as a precaution. As she prepares to show her skills again, the possibility of acing the vault without this deduction looms, potentially rewriting history and solidifying her legacy as one of the greatest gymnasts ever.

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