June 20, 2024
Simone Biles

Simone Biles

The final qualifier for the 2024 U.S. National Championships is drawing three all-around Olympic gold medalists—a first for a women’s event.
This week’s 2024 Core Hydration Classic in Connecticut will serve as a pre-Olympics tune-up featuring the most star-studded crop of female gymnasts in history—including Simone Biles and two other all-around Olympic gold medalists from the United States.

The competition will take place May 17-18 at the XL Center in Hartford, where Biles first broke onto the scene in 2013 as the U.S. national champion in the all-around, commencing a nearly unbroken streak of greatness over the next decade.
Biles, the most decorated gymnast in all of gymnastics, will be joined at the Core Classic by Suni Lee, the all-around champion at the Tokyo Olympics, and Gabby Douglas, the 2012 gold medalist who is making her return to competition after 8 years away.

The three will vie against more than 50 competitors for spots at the 2024 Xfinity U.S. National Championships, ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics this summer.

“Never before have three all-around gold medalists graced the floor at the same meet, but they will not be alone in the star power registered for Harford,” reads an announcement from USA Gymnastics. “In total, the registrant list includes 13 Olympic, World Championships andor Pan American Games medalists.”

less The Core Classic will kick off the qualifying process for this year’s Summer Olympics, which is expected to draw major crowds for a gymnastics cast led by Biles, who is coming off her most recent World Championships triumph in October. There, the Black Catholic standout took gold in the all-around, balance beam, floor, and team events, breaking several records in the process.

Earlier in 2023 at that year’s Core Classic, Biles returned to competition for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, where she struggled with a mental health scare and eventually withdrew from most of her events.

In her return last year, Biles took Core gold in the all-around, beam, and floor, qualifying for the 2023 U.S. Nationals—where she repeated in all three events, including a record eight national championship in the all-around. Biles also became the oldest-ever female national champion in gymnastics, at 26 years old, and in April received the 2024 Laureus World Sports Award for Comeback of the Year.

Though she remained largely mum on Paris 2024 during most of her comeback season, she declared in September her intent to make a run at this year’s Olympic Games, which would be her third.

“We’ve kind of been playing it on the down low this time, making sure mentally and physically are both intact. So I think it’ll be different, but it’ll be good,” she told TODAY host Hoda Kotb.

“This time around, it’s like being intentional, going to therapy, making sure everything is aligned so that I can do the best in the gym and be, like, a good wife, a good daughter, a good friend, all the good things.”

The home stretch to Paris for American gymnasts begins this weekend in Hartford, where the Core Classic will serve as the final qualifying event for the U.S. National Championships beginning in late May in Texas. There, the national team roster will be selected for competition at the Olympic Trials in June.

Biles and the other elite senior competitors will go to the mat at the Core Classic on Saturday afternoon, with a livestream available for the first session on YouTube at 2pm ET. The finals will air live on CNBC at 7pm, with streams available on Peacock, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app.

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