Simone Biles Says She’s “Still Scared to Do Gymnastics”

Simone Biles Aunt Dies Amid 2020 Tokyo Olympics
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After the 2020 Summer Olympics, Simone Biles is still trying to finding her balance. 

The 24-year-old athlete, one of the most decorated gymnasts of all time, was expected to be the talk of the delayed summer games in Tokyo. But after struggling with “the twisties”—a phenomenon in which a gymnast gets lost in the air—she withdrew from multiple competitions, ultimately winning bronze in the balance beam final and silver in the women’s artistic team all-around, from which she withdrew after competing on the vault. Despite not participating in many of the highly anticipated events, Biles remained the topic of conversation, becoming a symbol of mental health awareness as she prioritized her well-being over the competition. 

Sitting with Today‘s Hoda Kotb on Thursday, Oct. 21, Biles confirmed she’s “a lot better” now and getting the therapy she needs. Still, the Olympian—one of many gymnasts who have suffered abuse at the hands of now-imprisoned former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar—has not forgotten the immense weight she was carrying before everything unfolded at the Olympics. 

“Over the years, after suppressing so many emotions and putting up a front on a global scene, I think really all of that came to light,” she told Kotb. “My body and my mind allowed me to suppress all of that stuff for so many years, for as long as it could take, and as soon as we stepped on to the Olympic scene, it just decided it couldn’t do it anymore and it cracked and that’s what happens and that’s why taking care of your mental well-being and mental health is so important so that something like that doesn’t happen.”

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