Simone Biles leads Olympic Trials field after injury-filled Day 1

Simone Biles holds a commanding lead after Day 1 of the Olympic Trials in women's gymnastics, but it was a mixed day overall for USA Gymnastics

The good was Biles and Sunisa Lee, the last two Olympic all-around gold medalists, respectively sitting first and third on the leaderboard after overcoming significant obstacles in the years since their victories, with Jordan Chiles in between them in second place. The bad were significant injuries to contenders Shilese Jones and Kayla DiCello, knocking both out early in the competition.

Day 2 for the women is scheduled for Sunday, while the men will finish their competition on Saturday.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - JUNE 28: Simone Biles competes on the balance beam on Day Two of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Gymnastics Trials at Target Center on June 28, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Simone Biles is one good day away from returning to the Olympics. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Biles currently sits in first with a total score of 58.900, 2.500 points ahead of Chiles. She paced the field with a 14.850 in the floor and 15.975 in the vault, with a second-place performance on the uneven bars and fifth in balance beam.

Outside of a single toe placed out-of-bounds, her floor routine was a sight to behold:

And, as usual, no one could touch her on the vault:

Biles' biggest missteps came on the beam, where she is a four-time world champion. A few noticeable wobbles during her routine caused her to clearly curse after her dismount.

The overall performance still leaves Biles with plenty of breathing room in her quest to compete in a third Olympics. Her infamous battle with the "twisties" at the Tokyo Games left some worrying about her future that was already inhospitable to women in their late 20s, but the 27-year-old returned to competition last year after regular therapy and again looks like the best in the world.

Jones sustained her injury while warming up on the vault before the competition, leaving her status in question. She was initially announced to be competing, but was scratched from the vault.

However, she decided to gut out an uneven bars routine, with her mother emotionally watching on:

That uneven bars routine scored a 14.675, the highest of the night. Jones was scratched from the floor and balance beam soon after.

As for DiCello, she landed badly on her vault and immediately signaled something was wrong. She was soon taken off the floor in a wheelchair and later announced to have injured her Achilles tendon.

Lee was visibly upset after seeing the injury, leading to Jones and Chiles calming her down.

USA Gymnastics had already been bitten by injury, as contender Skye Blakely tore her Achilles during podium training on Wednesday, ending her Olympic candidacy. She was present at the Trials on Friday, tearing up after receiving a standing ovation from the crowd.