July 24, 2024
Simone Biles

Simone Biles reacts while being honored after wining gold on the uneven barsJulio CortezAP

Simone Biles struggled with mental health issues at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo
Simone Biles has a real-life hero in the form of her mother as she encouraged her not to try to push through a mental block at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan, as the gymnastics icon struggled for form.

Biles has been very open about her struggles through the tournament in Far-East Asia as she found herself unable to execute the challenging manoeuvres that she is famous for and Nellie Biles told her child straight to stop before she got hurt.

Simone Biles
Simone Biles’ husband Jonathan Owens gets hyped over her perfect vaultParker Johnson

As a result, she left the team instead of trying to push on through the competition floor following a series of uncharacteristic mistakes, admitting she also drew inspiration from Naomi Osaka’s decision to leave the French Open and Wimbledon in Tennis, but it was her mother her pushed her to finally do it.

“It was devastating,” Nellie Biles told Today. “After her vaulting, she called me and then mentioned that she couldn’t do it anymore.

“My words to Simone was, ‘Don’t do it. Don’t feel like you need to push yourself because that’s the last thing I need is to see you injure yourself on television and I’m not going to be there.'”

Team USA went on to claim the silver medal behind the individual Russian athletes in the team’s section, whilst Biles would later withdraw from the finals of the individual all-around contest on July 28 with mental health issues.

She then left the vault and uneven bars finals too, before finally withdrawing from the floor. She did compete in the balance beam on August 2 in a less-demanding routine which was good enough to claim the bronze medal.

Biles would later reveal she was battling against “the twisties” or “the yips”, which is a psychological phenomenon in which an athlete loses their sense of where they are in the air, especially whilst performing twisting exercises.

Biles’ career comeback
Biles then returned to competition at the US Classic in August 2023, hosted in Chicago, where she had an all-around score of 59.100 through four events to win by five points from Leanne Wong.

By also placing first on the balance beam and floor exercise, she qualified for the US National Championships where she would win an eighth national title to break Al Jochim’s record that stood since 1933.

She then announced plans to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games with Team USA following a strong showing in the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, Pan American Artistic Gymnastics Championship and the World Championships, winning four golds and two silvers in the latter

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