Simone Biles still has a lot to say about her untimely exit from this year’s Olympics. The athlete, winner of the gold in artistic gymnastics in Rio 2016 and seven times national champion, has admitted in an interview to The New Yorker that he should have retired from competition “long before Tokyo, when Larry Nassar was in the media for two years.”
In 2018, Biles announced to the world that he had been the victim of sexual abuse by Nassar, who between 1996 and 2014 served as the national gymnastics medical coordinator for the United States. The gymnast has already admitted that part of the reason why she did not feel in the right conditions to continue competing in Tokyo was due to the aftermath of those abuses. Still, at first he didn’t want to give up. “I didn’t want to let him take something from me that I’ve been working on since I was six years old. I was not going to allow him to deprive me of that happiness, “he explained to the American newspaper.
- Simone Biles’ victory in Tokyo
However, in the end he resolved that it was best to withdraw from the games due to twisties, which Biles describes as a mental block in the middle of the exercises, associated with the lack of psychological stability at the time. “It is a miracle that he landed standing up,” explained the gymnast, who describes the experience as a “life or death” situation. It was just after the end of one of his stunts when Biles decided to tell his coach that he did not see himself in a position to continue.
Despite having confessed that she resisted retiring earlier, the gymnast is proud that she decided to leave and affirms that it is a decision that she would not change. “I learned a lot from myself. Courage, resilience and to say no and raise my voice for myself ”, she said. She has also vindicated her status as a black woman and spoke of the pressure she undergoes as such, noting that the merits of athletes like her are often underestimated “even if they have broken a world record.”