Simone Biles event specialist at Paris 2024? The Olympic gymnastics champion says that’s what mom wants

Plus, Aly Raisman 'in awe of Simone,' Nile Wilson retires and we revisit Team Ukraine on beam from Atlanta 1996

By Scott Bregman

If you’ve ever thought about whether Simone Biles might compete past this summer’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as an event specialist, you’re in good company.

The four-time Olympic gymnastics gold medallist says that’s what her mom, Nellie Biles, thinks she should do, according to an interview in the Houston Chronicle.

“Mom doesn’t know how my body feels on the inside,” Biles said in response.

It’s not the first time Biles, who is coached by French born Cecile and Laurent Landi, has hinted at continuing on to the 2024 Paris Olympics. In July, Biles told Olympic Channel that she’d be in Paris “one way or another.”

"You know, Cecile and Laurent joke about [competing in 2024] a lot. It'd be really crazy because I don't get any younger as time goes on," Biles said. “I try to pass it on to the younger girls, telling them I'll probably be there to watch you.”

Aly Raisman: “I’m always in awe of Simone”

Speaking of being there to watch, that’s exactly what Olympic champion and Biles’ Rio 2016 teammate Aly Raisman says she’d love to be able to do at Tokyo 2020.

"I am so excited to watch Simone and the other girls on the team," Raisman said in an interview with E! News. "I think the gymnastics fans have been so amazing over the last couple of years and so supportive, so I'm excited for everyone to be able to watch because they are going to be incredible. I'm always in awe of Simone.”

Raisman, winner of six Olympic medals including three golds, retired following the Rio 2016 Games but hasn’t ruled out a future in the sport.

“I love gymnastics so much and it's been a huge part of my life and I'd love to be able to explain it to viewers because I know the scoring and certain stuff can be confusing," she said of a possible commentary role in the future.

Team GB’s Nile Wilson announces retirement

2016 Olympic horizontal bar bronze medallist Nile Wilson of Great Britain announced his retirement from the sport Thursday. 

“‘Gymnastics’ you are the best sport in the world! You’re my first love, my addiction, you set me free, you gave me purpose and you gave me experiences I could not even have dreamed of!” Wilson wrote in an Instagram post. “Unfortunately, my body just couldn’t keep up… and that’s okay. It is my time to move on and I can’t wait for the next chapter.”

Wilson, who in addition to his Olympic bronze medal helped Team GB to World silver in 2015, last competed at a major international event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Since then, injuries - including a bulging disk - have held him back and out of major competition. Wilson is also the 2016 European champion on high bar.

In recent years, Wilson has become somewhat of a YouTube celebrity, sharing videos on the platform with his more than 1.43 million subscribers.

Stuttgart World Cup will not happen in Stuttgart

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) tweeted Thursday that March’s Stuttgart World Cup will not be held in Stuttgart due to COVID-19 concerns. The tweet also said that German organisers were looking at moving the event to a different location.

The event is part of the FIG’s All Around World Cup series that includes three men’s and three women’s berths to the Tokyo 2020 Games. If the events cannot be held, the FIG has a contingency.

“Should the 2020 Individual All-Around World Cup Series not be held, the unused quota places will be reallocated to the highest ranked eligible NOC based on the Team ranking results of Qualifications of the 2019 World Championships,” reads a document on the FIG website outlining Tokyo 2020 qualifying routes.

From the vault...

This week, we take a look back to Atlanta 1996 and the balance beam rotation of Team Ukraine. Though they finished fifth, star Lilia Podkopayeva captured gold medals in the all-around and floor exercise finals. She came runner-up in the balance beam. Here, her 9.800 score leads the team and helps her advance to the final.

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