Earlier this week, USA Gymnastics announced its team for the upcoming world championships in Montreal. The four-person squad—made up of current national champion Ragan Smith, 2016 Olympic alternate Ashton Locklear, Morgan Hurd, and Jade Carey—is the first U.S. world championship gymnastics team without Simone Biles since 2011. Biles took a year off from training and competition following her Olympic wins and was not in contention to make this year’s squad.
But the 2018 world championship team might be a different story. Biles returned to the gym in August to start conditioning in order to get back into “gymnastics shape.” In a recent interview with Denver’s CBS 4, the three-time world all-around champion said that she planned to resume full-time training by this November, which could put her on track, barring any injuries or other setbacks, for the 2018 elite gymnastics season.
It’s unclear who will be coaching Biles as she attempts to return to form. Her longtime coach Aimee Boorman left Texas for a job in Florida after Biles’s Olympic victories. Biles won’t be following her former coach and mentor to Sarasota since her family has built a magnificent gymnastics facility in Spring, Texas for her train in. (I imagine that part of the business plan behind World Champions Centre is to have the record-breaking gymnast onsite to attract students, not training on the other side of the Gulf of Mexico.)
Biles isn’t the only 2016 Olympic gold medalist who’s resumed training recently. Russian and 2016 bars champion Aliya Mustafina just returned to Round Lake, the national team training center, a few months after giving birth to a baby girl. Mustafina is expected to return to competition in April of 2018.