Simone Biles Said the Support at the Olympics Showed Her a “Different Side of Gymnastics”

She thanked her teammates for being there during "the lowest of lows at the height of my career." 

Simone Biles is speaking out about the support she received after choosing to focus on her mental health at the Tokyo Olympics. The gymnast says that the overwhelmingly positive reaction she received showed her a “different side of gymnastics.” 

During an appearance on Peacock’s Olympic Highlights With Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg, Biles said she couldn’t have anticipated the “outpouring love and support” that she received from everyone including her teammates during “the lowest of lows at the height of my career.” 

“I never expected that in a million years because we’re supposed to be rivals, but at the end of the day, we’re all striving for the same thing and that’s to get a medal at the Olympics,” she said of her Team USA teammates. (MyKayla Skinner even dedicated her silver medal to Biles.)

While in Tokyo, Biles revealed that she was struggling with “the twisties,” a psychological issue that affects gymnasts’ spatial awareness. It led her to withdraw from the team competition in which Team USA took home silver. She also withdrew from a majority of the individual All-Around events but did end up competing in the individual balance beam event, taking home a bronze medal

After five years of training for the summer Games, she assumed there would be “a lot more backlash” when she announced she was stepping back in Tokyo. Instead, she was met with messages of “love, joy, support,” adding that her teammates were there with her and for her. “And it meant the world to me.”

The support from fans and fellow gymnasts made her realize that she is more than an athlete. It’s something she also expressed on Twitter last month, writing, “The outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before.”

You better believe it, Simone. The world is with you on the mat and off.

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