Simone Biles, asked about comeback, says she will be at Paris Olympics in some role

Simone Biles
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Simone Biles plans to be at the 2024 Paris Olympics, but whether that’s as a competitor or a spectator is to be decided.

Biles, asked in multiple interviews over the last week about a possible gymnastics comeback, repeated that she will attend the next Olympics in the French capital.

“I’m still taking time for myself just to work on myself, mentally and physically,” she said in a sitdown at a Mexico City event last week. “For Paris, as of now, I would say, I’ll be there regardless. I just don’t know if it will be as an athlete or as an audience member, but if I do decide to train, obviously, I’d have to go 100 percent, so I probably wouldn’t hold back. I’d still try to give it my all.”

Biles gave a similar answer in a “The Late Late Show with James Corden” appearance that aired Wednesday night.

“I still have to heal mentally and physically,” she said. “I will be in Paris, I just don’t know at what role — if that is an athlete or an audience member — so we’ll just have to see.”

In further proof that Biles is keeping her options open, she shared on social media earlier this summer that she is still getting drug tested. That is significant because athletes who retire (or plan to take long breaks from competition) often file paperwork to take their names out of drug-testing pools.

If Biles took her name out of drug testing, and she wanted to later return to competition, she would have to wait six months after returning to the drug-testing system to be eligible to compete.

The last U.S. female artistic gymnast to make three Olympic teams was Dominique Dawes in 2000.

Other recent U.S. gold-medal gymnasts took breaks after the Games and returned.

Nastia Liukin, the 2008 all-around gold medalist, left competition after the 2009 U.S. Championships and returned in May 2012 for a 2012 Olympic run, missing that team.

Shawn Johnson, the 2008 balance beam gold medalist, returned to a national team camp in November 2010 and competition in 2011 before retiring in June 2012.

Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, members of the 2012 Olympic champion team, returned to national team camps in 2014 and competition in March 2015 ahead of making the 2016 Olympic team.

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Oleksandr Abramenko, Ukraine’s top Winter Olympian, tears knee, career in question

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Aerials skier Oleksandr Abramenko, who won both of Ukraine’s medals over the last two Winter Olympics, is out for the season after a knee ligament tear and said he might not return to competition at all, according to Ukrainian media.

Abramenko, 34, won gold at the 2018 Olympics — Ukraine’s second-ever individual Winter Olympic title after figure skater Oksana Baiul in 1994 — and silver last year.

He competed once this season, placing 10th at a World Cup in Finland on Dec. 4, and then flew with the Ukrainian national team to stay in Utah ahead of World Cups in Canada in January and at the 2002 Olympic venue in Park City this weekend. The area also hosted many Ukraine winter sports athletes this past summer.

Abramenko missed the competition in Canada two weeks ago due to injury and then wasn’t on the start list for today’s aerials event in Park City. He is set to miss the world championships later this month in Georgia (the country, not the state).

Abramenko said he needs surgery, followed by a nine-month rehabilitation process, similar to an operation on his other knee six years ago, according to Ukraine’s public broadcaster. He said he will see how the recovery goes and determine whether to return to the sport at age 35, according to the report.

Abramenko is already the oldest Olympic men’s aerials medalist and come the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games will be older than all but one male aerialist in Olympic history, according to Olympedia.org.

At last year’s Olympics, Abramenko, Ukraine’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony, was hugged after the aerials final by Russian Ilya Burov, who finished one spot behind Abramenko for a bronze medal. A week later, Russia invaded Ukraine.

A week after that, Abramenko posed for a photo sitting on a mattress in a Kyiv parking garage with his wife and 2-year-old son published by The New York Times.

“We spend the night in the underground parking in the car, because the air attack siren is constantly on,” Abramenko texted, according to the newspaper. “It’s scary to sleep in the apartment, I myself saw from the window how the air defense systems worked on enemy missiles, and strong explosions were heard.”

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Freestyle skiers in World Cup action on NBC Sports, Peacock

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Olympic gold medalists David Wise and Alex Hall headline World Cup freestyle skiing and snowboarding stops in the U.S. this weekend, airing on NBC Sports and Peacock.

Wise, who last Sunday won his fifth X Games Aspen ski halfpipe title, led the qualifiers into the final at the Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix in California.

He’s joined in the 10-man final by U.S. Olympic teammates Aaron Blunck and Birk Irving. The women’s ski halfpipe final includes the top three from last week’s X Games — Brit Zoe Atkin, Canadian Rachael Karker and American Svea Irving. Olympic champion Eileen Gu of China is out after suffering a knee injury in an X Games training crash.

The ski slopestyle finals include the reigning men’s and women’s Olympic gold medalists — Hall, plus Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland.

The marquee snowboarders in Mammoth finals are Olympic big air silver medalist Julia Marino (slopestyle) and X Games silver medalist Maddie Mastro (halfpipe). Two-time Olympic champion Chloe Kim is taking the season off, and another double Olympic champion, Jamie Anderson, is pregnant.

Aerials and moguls skiers are competing in their lone U.S. World Cup stop in Park City, Utah.

The moguls fields including Olympic gold medalists Walter Wallberg of Sweden, Mikael Kingsbury of the U.S., Perrine Laffont of France and Jakara Anthony of Australia. Olympic silver medalist Jaelin Kauf is the standout American.

The aerials include every member of the U.S. team that took gold at last year’s Olympics — Ashley Caldwell, Chris Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld.

Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding World Cup Broadcast Schedule

Day Event Time (ET) Platform
Saturday Moguls 11 a.m. CNBC, Peacock
Ski Halfpipe 3 p.m. NBC, Peacock
Sunday Ski Slopestyle 12 p.m. CNBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 12 Aerials, Dual Moguls 2 p.m. NBC, Peacock
Snowboard Halfpipe 2 p.m. CNBC, Peacock

All NBC and CNBC coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

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