Simone Biles Reveals She Should Have Quit Gymnastics “Way Before Tokyo”
Considered to be the greatest gymnast of all time, Simone Biles has a combined total of 32 Olympic and world championship medals. But as a shocker to all, the 24-year-old star says that she thinks she should have quit the sport before the Tokyo Olympics started. She was referring to her past sexual abuse by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
“I should have quit way before Tokyo, when Larry Nassar was in the media for two years,” Biles told New York Magazine. “It was too much.”
Nassar abused more than 150 women throughout his 30-year career. In 2018, he was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison. Biles said the reason she didn’t was because she didn’t want him to have that over her—she wanted to finish out what she was made to do.
“I was not going to let him take something I’ve worked for since I was 6 years old,” she said. “I wasn’t going to let him take that joy away from me. So I pushed past that as long as my mind and my body would let me.”
However, as fate would have it, she withdrew from Tokyo after she realized she needed to work on her mental health. And while that was met with much praise from fans, of course she faced some backlash too—but she had a few choice words for haters, comparing her mental block to losing your eyesight.
‘Say up until you’re 30 years old, you have your complete eyesight,’ she said. ”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,” she continued. “I woke up — lost it. How am I supposed to go on with my day?’
Because the decision was so last minute, Biles says that of course she still sometimes struggles with coming to terms with it all, even if most of the time she’s confident with her decision.
‘Sometimes it’s like, yeah, I’m perfectly okay with it. Like, that’s how it works. That’s how it panned out,’ she said. ‘And then other times I’ll just start bawling in the house.’
However, she doesn’t regret her decision at all. ‘Everybody asks, “If you could go back, would you?”‘ she said. ‘No. I wouldn’t change anything because everything happens for a reason. And I learned a lot about myself — courage, resilience, how to say no and speak up for yourself.’
Biles is still active in her sport, undergoing a 35-city gymnastics tour, which she began earlier this month.
What do you think of Simone Biles revealing she should’ve left gymnastics earlier than she did?