Simone Biles Says She 'Should Have Quit' Gymnastics 'Way Before Tokyo'

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Simone Biles is opening up about where she stands emotionally and mentally in the wake of the Tokyo Games this summer, particularly after she made the difficult decision of withdrawing from certain events.

Earlier this week, an interview with the decorated gymnast was published in The Cut, where she admitted: “If you looked at everything I’ve gone through for the past seven years, I should have never made another Olympic team.”

The 24-year-old was candid about her experience with “the twisties” over the summer, a sensation that renders a gymnast unable to know how to control their body and disassociate while they’re in air during a move. 

“Say up until you’re 30 years old, you have your complete eyesight,” Biles told The Cut. “One morning, you wake up, you can’t see s**t, but people tell you to go on and do your daily job as if you still have your eyesight. You’d be lost, wouldn’t you? That’s the only thing I can relate it to. I have been doing gymnastics for 18 years. I woke up — lost it. How am I supposed to go on with my day?”

Despite withdrawing from the women’s individual all-around competition and the team final, Biles did eventually return to compete in the balance beam and earn the bronze medal.

Of her time overall in Tokyo and how the Games ultimately happened, Biles revealed she has a complicated combination of emotions.

“Sometimes it’s like, yeah, I’m perfectly okay with it. Like, that’s how it works. That’s how it panned out. And then other times I’ll just start bawling at the house,” she said.

In her interview with The Cut, Biles stresses that she “should have quit way before Tokyo” and cited the time when “Larry Nassar was in the media for two years,” the disgraced gymnastics doctor who she says abused her and whom she’s spoken out against many times over the years, both in a court of law and out.

“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,” she shared.

Most recently, Biles made headlines after she testified at a Senate Judiciary Hearing to explore the FBI’s role in stopping Nassar’s rampant abuse of dozens of women and children. 

“USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee knew that I was abused by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge," Biles told the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month, before continuing: “We suffered and continue to suffer, because no one at the FBI, USAG or the USOPC did what was necessary to protect us. We have been failed."


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Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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