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When Was the Last Time Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas Faced Each Other in a Gymnastics Clash?



In less than 24 hours, the gymnastics world will be abuzz with the return of Simone Biles as she makes her season debut in her fourth Olympic cycle. The stage is set in Hartford, Connecticut, at the 2024 Core Hydration Classic, where all eyes will be on Olympic all-around gold medalists Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, and Sunisa Lee—champions of London 2012, Rio 2016, and Tokyo 2020, respectively—who have contributed to the five-Olympic streak of American dominance.
This event marks the first competition in nearly eight years where Biles and Douglas will face off, rekindling memories of their last clash at the 2016 Rio Olympics. As we await the Clash of Titans, let’s delve into their last face-off eight years ago and revisit the intense competition that set the stage for their storied relationship.
According to USA Gymnastics, the women’s competition at the 2016 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team trials marked the last time Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas faced off against each other. Scheduled from July 8 to 10 at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, this event was crucial in determining the athletes who would represent the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Simone Biles shone brightly, continuing her dominance in women’s gymnastics. She secured first place in the all-around competition with impressive scores across all apparatuses, taking gold in the vault and floor exercise. Her overall score of 123.250 solidified her position as the top gymnast in the U.S. On the other hand, Gabby Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around champion, finished seventh overall with a score of 117.450.

Despite not ranking as high, her experience and previous Olympic success earned her a spot on the team. The “Final Five,” consisting of Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, and Gabby Douglas, were selected to represent the United States at the Rio Olympics. Their selection was based on stellar performances at the trials, with Biles, Raisman, and Hernandez securing the top three spots in the all-around competition.

Simone Biles’s dominant performance and the strategic selection of the “Final Five” set the stage for a successful Olympic campaign, where the team won the gold medal in the team event, the third in U.S. history. Biles went on to win individual gold medals in the all-around, vault, and floor exercise, and a bronze on the balance beam.

MyKayla Skinner, Ragan Smith, and Ashton Locklear were selected as alternates. This last clash on home soil highlighted the passing of the torch from one champion to another and set the stage for Biles’s historic achievements in Rio. Interestingly, despite their sometimes strained relationship, Simone Biles was inspired by Gabby Douglas to pursue gymnastics.

How was Biles inspired by Douglas?
Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas have had a strained relationship since the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, despite their differences, Biles has acknowledged the inspiration she drew from Douglas. Watching Gabby become the first African American to win an all-around Olympic medal stirred a desire in Biles to become an Olympian too.

She once shared, “Growing up, I didn’t see very many Black gymnasts… So whenever I did, I felt really inspired to go out there and want to be as good as them. I remember watching Gabby Douglas win the 2012 Olympics, and I was like, If she can do it, I can do it.” The 2024 Core Hydration Classic will not only highlight their paths crossing again but also the dynamics they share. Who are you rooting for at the 2024 Core Hydration Classic? Comment below!

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