Simone Biles
AP

Simone Biles: I’m better than I was in Rio

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Warning to the world’s best gymnasts.

It’s still more than three months before Simone Biles‘ comeback meet, but she already feels like a better gymnast than at her last meet — the Rio Olympics, where she earned four gold medals.

“Once it comes time to put it all together in competition, that will be the real test,” Biles said recently, according to the Houston Chronicle. “But as I’ve been training, I guess I would say I am better than I was in Rio.”

The 21-year-old Biles has been training since Nov. 1 under new coaches Laurent Landi and Cecile Canqueteau-Landi at her Texas gym.

She has said she plans to compete for the first time in nearly two years at the U.S. Classic on July 28 in Columbus, Ohio, ahead of the U.S. Championships in August in Boston and, she hopes, the world championships in Doha in October and November.

She also reportedly said she expects the 2020 Olympics to be her final gymnastics meet.

“A lot of the times when I come into the gym I shock myself, especially how I’m still improving, especially from Rio, even there,” Biles said, according to the newspaper. “It’s kind of crazy.

“I would rather risk [a comeback] now than, 20 years from now, being like, ‘I wish I would have tried again. I wonder what would have happened.’ Twenty years from now, I can now say, ‘well, at least I tried.’”

Biles could try to become the first woman to repeat as Olympic all-around champion since Věra Čáslavská in 1968 and the oldest champ since the Czech great.

Biles is expected to be the only Final Five member to compete on the elite level this year.

Laurie Hernandez said in October that she hoped to return to competition in 2018, but her agent said last month the plan is now 2019.

Aly Raisman originally planned to take one year off after Rio. She since delayed a return to training as she devotes time to something much more important — fighting sexual abuse in the sport.

Gabby Douglas has not said if or when she will return to training. Madison Kocian also may be finished with elite gymnastics but is competing collegiately for UCLA.

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VIDEO: Simone Biles explains returning to the gym

Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez respond to bobsledder’s challenge

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Simone Biles called it “easy money.” Laurie Hernandez said “NO WAYY” (Update: Then did it anyway).

Olympic bobsledder Sam McGuffie challenged the gymnasts, plus Aly Raisman, to what he called the back flip box jump challenge via Twitter.

McGuffie has long been known for athleticism. While playing Texas high school football, a YouTube video of his highlights was uploaded in 2007 and garnered more than three million views. The running back became known for hurdling defensive backs.

McGuffie signed and played for Michigan, then transferred to Rice after one season. He wasn’t drafted by the NFL but signed with the Raiders in 2013 and played in two preseason games.

McGuffie bounced around NFL practice squads and in the CFL before turning to bobsled in 2015. He has been part of the U.S. national team for three seasons.

He pushed for Codie Bascue in PyeongChang, finishing ninth in the four-man and 25th in two-man.

Biles and Hernandez’s accomplishments are well-known as members of the Final Five. Biles also showed her athleticism with this ridiculous rope climb and backflip off a wall.

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MORE: Hernandez plans gymnastics comeback

Tearful Simone Biles speaks out on Larry Nassar

TODAY
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Simone Biles emotionally reflected on coming forward as one of the survivors of Larry Nassar‘s sexual abuse in a TODAY Show interview Wednesday.

“I think it’s very hard for someone to go through what I’ve gone through recently, and it’s very hard to talk about,” Biles said. “The judge is my hero because she gave it to him straight and didn’t let him get any power over any of the girls. Letting the girls go and speak is very powerful.

“I wish she would have just given him, like, a crazy number, like 3,000 years or something. But other than that, she was a boss.”

Biles is back in training for a Tokyo 2020 Olympic run, where she said a specific hope is to “redeem” herself on the balance beam. She had an uncharacteristic mistake on beam in Rio and took a bronze medal to go along with four golds.

Biles said she will take classes via the non-profit University of the People, along with her mom. The school created a scholarship in her name, too.

Biles also said new USA Gymnastics president Kerry Perry flew to Biles to introduce herself, and she hopes the U.S. Olympic Committee will soon reach out to her regarding what happened to her and other gymnasts.

Biles’ Lifetime biopic, “Courage to Soar,” debuts on Saturday. Watch the trailer here.

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