Olympic gymnast Simone Biles says she “should have given up long before Tokyo” – .

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles says she “should have given up long before Tokyo” – .

Quadruple Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles said she “should have given up long before Tokyo”.

Arguably the greatest gymnast of all time, the 24-year-old endured battles with mental health and the unexpected loss of a family member during the Tokyo Olympics this summer – while preparing to testify during a hearing in the US Senate into the sexual abuse investigation of former US gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

Arriving in Tokyo widely expected to add to her medal crop, Biles withdrew from the women’s team final citing “twisties” – a mental block in gymnastics in which contestants lose track of their positioning in the tunes – but came back to win bronze on the balance beam.

“If you look at everything I’ve been through in the past seven years, I never should have made another Olympic team,” Biles told New York magazine.

“I should have quit long before Tokyo, when Larry Nassar was in the media for two years. It was too much. But I wasn’t going to let him take something I’ve worked for since I was six.

“I wasn’t going to let him take that joy away from me. So I got past that for as long as my mind and body allowed. “

Biles testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the FBI’s handling of sexual abuse complaints against Nassar alongside three other gymnasts – McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols – who were all survivors of Nassar abuse.

Allegations against the former U.S. gymnastics doctor first came to the FBI in July 2015, but a report by the Department of Justice Inspector General said the agency “did not respond to inquiries. Nassar’s allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and demanded, made many and fundamental mistakes when responding to them, and violated several FBI policies. “

An emotional testimony from Biles saw the gymnast blame “a whole system that allowed and perpetuated his abuse.”

“I woke up – I lost it”

Biles shed light on the phenomenon of twisties that caused her to immediately retire from the squad and four individual finals.

Inexplicably losing his bearings in the air, Biles revealed that “his perspective has never changed so quickly, from wanting to be on a podium to wanting to be able to come home, on my own, without crutches.”

“If I still had my air consciousness and had a bad day, I would have continued. But it was more than that.

“Say up to 30, you have your full sight. One morning you wake up, you can’t see anything, but people tell you to go on and do your daily work like you still have sight, ”Biles explained.

“You would be lost, wouldn’t you?” It’s the only thing I can relate to. I have been doing gymnastics for 18 years. I woke up – I lost it. How am I supposed to continue my day? “

Her difficulties were compounded by the death of her aunt, who died “unexpectedly” while Biles was competing in Japan.

A testament to her determination, despite everything she’s endured, Biles still managed to leave Tokyo on a high note – taking her Olympic medal tally to seven with a bronze medal in the beam final.

“To bring up the subject of mental health, I think we should talk about it a lot more, especially with the athletes because I know some of us go through the same things and we are always told to get through it.” Biles told reporters. after his third place.


With a tough summer behind her, Biles is now on his highly anticipated Gold Over America Tour.

With tonight’s show in San Francisco, Biles leads a team of star athletes in 35 US cities to celebrate women’s sport and inspire a new generation of gymnasts.

“I love the sport of gymnastics and wanted to help create a show that celebrates the sheer joy of playing,” Biles said, on the tour’s official website.

The final show will take place in Boston on November 7.


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