Even the GOAT gets a break every now and then. Simone Biles shocked the world when she quit at the Tokyo Olympics — but it wasn’t the first time she’d fought to improve her health.
In the summer of 2021 The multiple Olympic gold medalist fell when trying to vault during the team finals in Japan and then walked out of the contest. The teammates Jordan Chiles, Suni Lee and Grace McCallum carried on without their leader, and ultimately finished second, just behind those of the Russian Olympic Committee.
While she was seen talking with the team’s staff of trainers, Biles later confirmed that she “thankfully” didn’t have a physical injury. “That’s why I took a step back, because I didn’t want to do something silly out there and get injured,” Biles said to reporters following the ceremony to receive her medal. “I considered it best to let these girls take charge and completed the remainder of the work — and they definitely accomplished, and they’re Olympic silver medalists today. They ought to be satisfied with the way they performed in the last minute and had to adjust.”
It’s true that the Dancing With the Stars alum “got a little bit lost in the air” as she was performing her risky move she said. “It’s just something we have to go in the gym and work on.”
Many long-time supporters of the gymnast were shocked to see her accomplish anything else than grit her teeth when faced with adversity. However, not participating in the competition might result in having “robbed” the team of their trophy and could be the cause of serious injuries.
“I believed they’d be fine with me out of the way. It was just watching them train. they’re among the most formidable athletes I’ve met,” Biles said of her team of elite athletes. “Their heads are always on straight, and they have a lot of dedication and courage.”
Biles has proved herself to be among the most talented athletes around the globe not only in her field — but she’s also faced many battles behind the behind the scenes. In 2018, Biles revealed that she was among the gymnasts who were sexually assaulted by the former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar among the victims were Aly Raisman McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas. He is currently serving over 170 years of prison time for assaulting girls and women.
The Ohio native wasn’t able to immediately reveal her personal story as she was still trying to come in to the reality of what transpired. “It’s not like we had a lot of people to talk about it with,” she said in the episode Simone vs Herself. “I recall asking one of my friends, ‘Hey did I have a sexual assault by anyone?’ I thought I was making a statement initially, but she replied”No, absolutely. ‘”
After accepting the fact that she was a victim from abuse Biles found herself “super depressed” and “shut everybody out,” she said in her Facebook post.
“With gymnasts, when you get injured, your heal time is four to six weeks, but then with something so traumatic that happens like this?” she added. “There isn’t a four-to six weeks. It’s difficult for us to comprehend this. There’s no healing or time duration and you can do it day by day.”
Raisman was among many fellow athletes who showed Biles support following her departure from the Tokyo competition at the end of July in 2021. Her former teammate Laurie Hernandez reminded fans that there’s more to be won than just a gold award.
“When something like this happens, there’s just immense pressure [and] this feeling of, ‘I don’t want to let my team down.’ … At the end of the day, mentally, physically, we just want to make sure she’s OK,” she said to Today at the moment. “Having to apply that pressure to Simone to take her team towards gold is unfair. It’s a team of four, not a group made up of just one.”
Scroll down to an overview of Biles her most inspirational comments regarding her care for her body and mind:
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Looking to move forward
After being forced to withdraw from a number of events, both team and individual, during the Tokyo Olympics The Dancing With the Stars alum talked on “trying to navigate her own unique mental health journey.”
“I definitely feel like it’s been a relief [to speak openly about her emotions] but it’s not easy to go through it,” Biles stated in her Today program interview on October 20, 2021. “Because I try to be strong not only for other people but also myself, but sometimes there are weaknesses in strength and that’s OK, and it’s OK not to be OK, and I’ve taught myself that.”
The Olympic athlete then spoke on her decision to pull out from the Games at the beginning of the year.
“To do something that I’ve done forever and just not be able to do it because of everything I’ve gone through is really crazy because I love this sport so much,” Biles in tears declared at the moment. “It’s difficult. … It’s hard. believe that most people don’t understand the extent of what I’ve gone through, but after so many years of going through all that I’ve been through with a smile I’m very proud of myself.”
She added, “The twisting once I got back will come back, but I’m still scared to do gymnastics.”
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“I say put mental health first,” Biles declared in July 2021, revealing to the journalists in the Olympic Games that she was impressed by the strength of Naomi Osaka at the beginning of this year. “Because if you don’t, then you’re not going to enjoy your sport and you’re not going to succeed as much as you want to. So it’s OK sometimes to even sit out the big competitions to focus on yourself, because it shows how strong of a competitor and person that you really are — rather than just battle through it.”
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How to Cope
Biles required “a good mental rest” following her disappointment at the final of the team in Tokyo Biles stated this during the press conference in July 2021. “Usually you practice mindfulness. … We’ll have the morning off, so that’s a great start. … Then you’re really focused in and tuned in on practice.”
Health and wellness “starts from outside the gym,” she explained. “We want to relax. And we’ll do that, hopefully get some fresh air — and we’ll just see [what’s next].”
The Pressure is On
It was clear that the 2021 Olympics timetable has been “really stressful,” the World Champion admitted after exiting the final team competition. “I think just as a whole, not having an audience, there are a lot of different variables going into it. It’s been a long week, it’s been a long Olympic process, it’s been a long year. So, [there’s] just a lot of different variables, and I think we’re just a little bit too stressed out. But we should be out here having fun, and sometimes that’s not the case.”
“I just felt like it would be a little bit better to take a back seat, work on my mindfulness,” Biles declared at a press conference following Team USA took home the silver medal in the summer of 2021. “And I knew that the girls would do an absolutely great job. And I didn’t want to risk the team a medal for kind of my screwups, because they’ve worked way too hard for that. So I just decided that those girls need to go and do the rest of our competition.”
The Courage to Soar author didn’t perform her best at the qualifier in Tokyo -and she was conscious of she was aware of it. “It wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it. I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times,” she posted on Instagram. “I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The Olympics is no joke! BUT I’m happy my family was able to be with me virtually They mean the world to me!”
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Body and Mind
After pulling out of taking a break from Tokyo Olympics at the end of July in 2021 Biles acknowledged that she had a breakdown in the midst of the stress of representing her country. “We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day, we’re human, too,” Biles spoke to reporters at the time according to The Associated Press. “We have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.”
Stop and play
Like many professional sports players, Biles has become an advocate for causes that are important outside of the sports arena. Although she’s not afraid to speak out on some issues, she recognizes the importance of taking her time. “Everybody expects me to speak out, but I kind of do it whenever I’m ready, in a good mental place, because it is a lot at the end of the day, and it does spark a very big conversation,” she said to WSJ. The magazine will be out in July 2021.
“I’m Not Required to Be Fine’
In the event that the Tokyo Olympics were delayed all year long due to the coronavirus epidemic The gymnast from Texas was “through the emotions” -and let herself experience each emotion deeply. “Sad, mad, angry, pissed off, hysterical — all of the phases. And that’s the first time in my life I’ve ever felt the emotions rather than somebody coming up to me and telling me, ‘Hey, it’s gonna be OK,'” she stated to Sports Illustrated in July 2021. “I got to relish in all of those emotions and phases myself rather than people telling me, ‘Hey, it’s gonna be OK You should be fine.’ … I don’t have to be fine. I can be pissed off for now. I can be mad. I can be angry. I can be joyful, you know? So it was actually really nice because it was the first time in my life that’s ever happened.”
In the docuseries she filmed in 2021, Simone vs Herself, the world-class athlete discussed the long road to healing following her assault by Nassar. “All those years, nobody ever told us what sexual abuse was,” she recalls. “So we didn’t really feel like we were going through it or victims. … I was one of the luckier ones because I didn’t get it as bad as some of the other girls I knew.”
Biles said she was “super depressed” after coming to the realization that what she was going through had serious consequences. “I didn’t want to leave my room, and I didn’t want to go anywhere. I kind of just shut everybody out. I don’t know, it was probably hard for me,” she told the media. “I remember being on the phone with my agent, and telling my mom and my agent that I slept all the time. Because sleeping was better than offing myself. It was my way to escape reality. Sleeping was like the closest thing to death for me at that point, so I just slept all the time.”
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Before she found a method to manage her issues, Biles coped “by compartmentalizing,” she explained to Glamour on June 20, 2021. “I try not to think about it because I can’t afford to — if I let them rule me, they’re winning,” Biles said.
Then, eventually she discovered the proper balance. “Before I would only focus on the gym. But me being happy outside the gym is just as important as me being happy and doing well in the gym. Now it’s like everything’s coming together,” she stated to the outlet.
The Search for Her “Safe Space’
“I thought I could figure it out on my own, but that’s sometimes not the case,” Biles said to Glamour at the end of June in 2021 of her experiences with therapy. “And that’s not something you should feel guilty or ashamed of. Once I got over that fact, I actually enjoyed it and looked forward to going to therapy. It’s a safe space.”
Via US Magazine