(Paris) Two years after the trauma of the Tokyo Games, the queen of gymnastics, the American Simone Biles, has made a triumphant return to the top of her sport and can now turn with serenity towards the Paris Olympic Games.

Subject to “twisties”, these sudden and unpredictable losses of any reference in space, during the Olympic Games in Japan, the 26-year-old American had completely cut herself off from competition for almost two years to take care of her mental health.

Returning to business in August, she first distinguished herself by winning the US Classic before winning a record eighth all-around title at the US Championships.

But it was especially at the World Championships in Antwerp at the beginning of October that the American impressed. The four-time Olympic champion demonstrated during the Antwerp competition that she remained the queen of her sport and gave the impression of getting back on track with her career as if nothing had happened.

For his big return to the world stage, Biles lit up the competition field for his entire class, making an impression as soon as he entered the scene in qualifying.

On the first day, she left the spectators at the “Sportpaleis” in Antwerp speechless, by achieving a jump of extreme difficulty and unprecedented for a woman, a Yurchenko double pike, now known in the gymnastics notation code as the “Biles II”.

Then, thanks to four new gold medals and one silver medal, she further enriched her collection, which now stands at 30 units, including 23 in gold metal, a record obviously.

Questioned by the media around the world following her performances, the gym superstar did not wish to highlight her results or her podiums.

“I wasn’t stressed about the number of medals or their colors,” she assured. “In this competition, I even said to myself: ‘As long as I’m here, doing my routines again, it’s a victory in my eyes.’ »

“What matters to me is just to be there again, to regain confidence in the competition, to bring back good marks for the team, and we will see. »

The 1.42m Texan was especially delighted with this newfound confidence after the traumatic Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021. Arriving in Japan as the big favorite, Biles had broken down in full view, withdrawing from most of the tests.

She explained that she was fighting against “twisties”, and her setbacks had helped to highlight the subject of the mental health of athletes, which was largely taboo.

In Antwerp, she readily spoke about her therapy sessions, her breathing and visualization exercises which helped her approach the competition. She also said she took advantage of her break to become a “normal” person again, away from judges’ tables and mixed areas.

“Gymnastics is something I do, it’s not who I am as a person… It took me years to realize that,” she testified.

With her sixth World Championships behind her, Simone Biles can now turn her sights towards the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, even if the American does not want to look too far ahead. “I can’t answer questions about the future, I’ll just live in the moment,” she whispered.

Questioned at the end of the competition, her coach, Frenchwoman Cécile Landi, said a little more: “She doesn’t want to talk about it, because she doesn’t want to put pressure on herself, I totally understand. (But) I know that for us, as coaches, that’s definitely the goal. We’ll prepare her for that, if she wants it. »

In an interview given before the Worlds, Biles had in any case confided to the American channel NBC that she would “love” to win other Olympic titles. “This is the path I would like to follow,” she said.