WASHINGTON — The U.S. Olympics gymnastics trials begin Thursday to determine the men and women who will join Simone Biles in Tokyo.
Technically, Biles hasn't clinched a spot. But the woman who has been dubbed by many as the greatest gymnast of all-time is a lock to make the team. The only question will be if she decides to use her new vault, the Yurchenko double pike, to help her qualify. She's only done it once in competition and is expected to pull it out at the Olympics.
When are the gymnastics trials?
The men compete on NBC Sports Network Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET (live in all time zones) and Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on NBC (also live nationwide).
The women compete on NBC Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 p.m. The event is live only in the eastern time zone and tape-delayed for the rest of the country.
How many gymnasts are on the Olympic team?
How the teams will be selected are a little different for each. As NBC Sports explains it, the men's all-around champion gets an Olympic berth. The runner-up also goes if he finishes in the top three on at least three of the six apparatuses. A committee then chooses the other three spots. Four of the five will compete in the team competition.
For the women, the top two all-around finishers clinch berths, according to NBC Sports. Like the men, the other three spots are chosen by committee. A total of four will get to be in the team competition. A sixth gymnast, Jade Carey, has already clinched an invite in individual events. She could earn a team event spot if she competes in the all-around at trials.
But, expectedly, the focus will be on Biles who may be in her final competition on U.S. soil. Here are some commonly asked questions about her.
How old is Simone Biles?
She's 24, which is pushing the end of most gymnasts' careers. If she decides to give it one more run in Paris in 2024, she'd be 27 -- the same age her retired 2016 teammate Aly Raisman is now.
Where is Simone Biles from?
Biles was born in Columbus, Ohio. She now resides in Spring, Texas, just north of Houston.
How tall is Simone Biles?
Gymnasts are on the shorter side, and Biles is no exception at 4 feet 8 inches. Here is how she compares to other gymnastics greats.
- Nadia Comaneci: 5 feet 4 inches
- Mary Lou Retton: 4 feet 9 inches
- Carly Patterson: 5 feet
- Nastia Liukin: 5 feet, 3 inches
- Gabby Douglas: 5 feet 2 inches
- Aly Raisman: 5 feet 2 inches
- Shawn Johnson: 4 feet, 11 inches
- Kerri Strug: 4 feet 8 inches
How many Olympics have Simone Biles been in?
It seems like Biles has been talked about forever. But despite her long and impressive resume, Biles has only appeared at one Olympics -- in 2016. Due to the Olympic cycle of once every four years, Biles was unable to compete at the 2012 games in London because, at age 15, she wasn't old enough.