July 16, 2024
Simone Biles

Gymnastics GOAT Simone Biles candidly discusses her mental trauma after withdrawing from Tokyo 2020 due to ‘twisties,’ the overwhelming pressure she faced, and her potential redemption at Paris 2024.
In a searingly honest interview, gymnastics superstar Simone Biles has opened up about the overwhelming psychological toll and intense backlash she suffered after her high-profile withdrawal from the team final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to a case of the dreaded “twisties” – a phenomenon where athletes lose spatial awareness mid-routine.

“America hates me. The world is going to hate me. I can only see what they’re saying on Twitter right now,” Biles, 27, painfully recalled her feelings in the aftermath, in an interview with the Call Her Daddy podcast.

Simone Biles Feared Deportation for Not Delivering Olympic Gold
The most transcendent and decorated gymnast in history with 37 combined world and Olympic gold medals, Biles stunned the world when she abruptly bailed on her vault routine and landed awkwardly, forcing her withdrawal. Her decision sparked a vital global conversation around athletes’ mental health and the immense pressure they face.

“If I could’ve gotten on a plane and flown home, I would’ve done it. I thought I was going to be banned from America, ’cause that’s what they tell you: ‘Don’t come back if not gold. Gold or bust. Don’t come back,'” Biles stated highlighting the win-at-all-costs mentality drilled into Olympic athletes from a young age.
Though she eventually mustered the resolve to compete in the beam final, earning a hard-fought bronze medal – an achievement she would go on to describe as “most meaningful” in her illustrious Olympic journey – Biles was candid about her fears of facing harsh judgment and rejection from her home country after failing to meet unforgiving expectations of gold medal greatness.

Paris 2024 Comeback A Potential Path to Redemption for Simone Biles
With just a few weeks until the opening ceremony in Paris, Biles has strongly hinted that competing at the 2024 Olympics is firmly in her sights as a path to potential redemption.

“I would say that’s the path I would love to go, so I wouldn’t mind if you put it in the ‘yay’ section,” the 7-time Olympic medalist told TODAY last year.

After taking a two-year hiatus to heal mentally and physically, Biles returned to elite competition in 2022, winning an eighth U.S. individual title and an incredible sixth world all-around championship just weeks later at age 25.

She is next scheduled to compete at the U.S. Classic in Hartford, Connecticut, in the coming month – a likely gauge of her readiness for one final Olympic run while putting the haunting memories of Tokyo behind her in Paris.

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