Greatness calling Biles at Rio Olympics

Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:26pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - In a nod to the domination of her sport, Simone Biles has already entered the debate as the greatest gymnast of all-time even though she has yet to turn a single somersault on the Olympic stage.

A charismatic dynamo blessed with otherworldly talent, Biles may be the three-time reigning all-around world champion but for gymnasts it is the Olympics where true greatness is defined.

Having dealt with the formality of securing a spot on the Rio-bound U.S. team with another dominating display at the national Olympic trials on the weekend, Biles is not just poised to put her stamp on gymnastics but the entire Summer Games.

"She's the best in the world and she will be the best gymnast that has ever lived in my opinion," said Nastia Luikin, the 2008 Olympic all-around gold medalist. "All that is missing is that Olympic gold, that is the cherry on top. But I have no doubt in my mind she will do that.

"I guess I'm just glad I'm not competing anymore."

Nadia Comaneci, Olga Korbut and Mary Lou Retton are the sport's transcendent names and Biles could soon join them with an ambitious Rio Games plan that could see her challenge for five gold medals.

She will arrive in Rio as the red-hot favorite for the coveted all-around crown and to lead the U.S. defense of

the prestigious team title.   Continued...

July 10, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Simone Biles, from Spring, TX, during the balance beam in the women's gymnastics U.S. Olympic team trials at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports