After quitting from five of her seven finals in Japan, four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles admits she “should have quit way before Tokyo.”
Reviewing what she survived at the Summer Games and all she had gone through for the previous seven years, the 24-year-old claimed in a New York Magazine article, “I should have never made another Olympic team.”
In 2018, Biles revealed that she was molested by team doctor Larry Nassar, who is now serving a life term in prison.
Bikes confessed that “It was too much. But I was not going to let him take something I’ve worked for since I was six years old. I wasn’t going to let him take that joy away from me. So I pushed past that for as long as my mind and my body would let me.”
Biles was expected to win more gold medals in Tokyo 2020, but she withdrew from five of the seven finals, citing a need to focus on her mental health.
As reported, the renowned gymnast later revealed that she was suffering from the “twisties,” a perilous mental block in which gymnasts lose their orientation in the air, and went on to win bronze on the balancing beam.
Biles had been seeing a therapist in the months leading up to the Games, and she says she was anxious when she arrived in Tokyo, in part because of coronavirus restrictions that prevented fans and families from attending.
The 19-time world champion continued: “Leading up to it, I got more and more nervous. I didn’t feel as confident as I should have been with as much training as we had.”
Biles described attempting to compete with the “twisties” as “basically life or death” and that after it set in mid-vault “it’s a miracle I landed on my feet”.
There was also the added pressure that race contributed in everything she had put herself through as Biles herself admitted: “As a Black woman, we just have to be greater. Because even when we break records and stuff, they almost dim it down, as if it’s just normal.”
Earlier in September, Biles testified before the Senate as a committee examined shortcomings in the FBI’s investigation into Nassar’s case.