Mad Thoughts

Mad Thoughts: Female Gymnast Raises the Bar

Biles has become one of the most dominant and talented female gymnasts the sport has ever seen. // Jan de Koning

MadThoughtsLogoWith the 2016 summer Olympics approaching quickly, there is a lot of talk about who will represent team U.S.A. in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There is still a lot of hype surrounding Gabby Douglas, the reigning all-around gold medalist, and her determination for another Olympic gold. But determination is only half of it. Douglas will need to outcompete her younger competition including Simone Biles. 

Biles is a powerhouse in women’s gymnastics. Even when she had an off day at the P&G Championships in mid-August — when she fell onto her hands and knees in the floor exercise — she still finished on top. She even beat Douglas.

Biles hasn’t lost an all-around competition in more than two years. Being only 18 years old and already involved in the sport for 12 years, she has quite the impressive résumé. She already has seven national championship titles to her name and has added nine world medals to her collection, six of which are gold. She’s the first female gymnast to win three consecutive U.S. national titles since Kim Zmeskal did it from 1990-92. No one has ever won four consecutive national titles, but Biles appears to be on her way to be the first to do so.

Biles is the frontrunner for next summer’s Olympic Games to represent team U.S.A.

The difficulty of her routines is what sets her apart from the competition and her power is what defines her. She leaves spectators in awe with her body control as  she flips and twists at fast speeds through the air.

Biles can perform skills on the beam that most gymnasts won’t even think about attempting on the spring floor. A video surfaced of Biles attempting a full-in, full-out dismount — a skill that involves two twists with two simultaneous rotations — into a foam pit off a four-inch wide balance beam.

Although she does well and is conisistent on all events, the floor exercise is considered her area of expertise. When she performs, her personality speaks through her actions. She has a packed routine filled with some of the most difficult tumbling passes in the competition paired with creative, fun choreography. Her most difficult tumbling pass in her current routine is actually named “the Biles” and is a double-layout with a half twist.

While most gymnasts tend to plateau after they reach a certain level, Biles has continued to grow in an exponential fashion, and she doesn’t plan to stop. She still puts in more than 30 hours a week in the gym.

If anyone is going to give Douglas a run for her money when it comes to winning the Olympic gold in 2016, it’s Biles.

Biles is dominant in almost every event and has a huge future ahead of her. She  not only raises the bar of expectations and difficulty for other gymnasts, but she continues to break that bar and set it higher every time.

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Sports Editor

Originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, Madeline Kenney is a huge Cornhusker fan. Kenney is currently pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism and minoring in marketing and sports management. She has a spectacular vernacular, and that's why she's the sports editor of The PHOENIX.

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