Simone Biles said New York magazine she “should have stopped” gymnastics before the Tokyo Olympics instead of participating in the Games.
Biles, 24, said her reasons for withdrawing from team competition and four individual events went far beyond a case of twisties.
Twisties refer to a feeling where gymnasts feel lost in the air, preventing athletes from completing skills at their normal ability.
During the Games, Biles took care of his mental health and the unexpected death of his aunt. The gymnast, who is currently not training while in therapy, says her recovery is still a “work in progress”.
“This will probably be something that I will work on for 20 years,” Biles told the magazine. “It doesn’t matter how much I try to forget. It’s a work in progress.
“If you look at everything I’ve been through over the past seven years, I never should have made another Olympic team,” Biles added. “I should have quit long before Tokyo, when Larry Nassar was in the media for two years. It was too much. But I wasn’t going to let him take something I’ve worked for since I was 6 years old.
On September 15, Biles joined McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman in Washington, DC, to testify at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing into the sexual abuse allegations against Nassar, a former U.S. gymnastics physician from 1978 to 2016.
“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that allowed and perpetrated his abuses,” Biles told the committee. “The scars of this horrific abuse continue. The impact of this man’s abuse will never be over.”
Nassar’s allegations were initially brought to the FBI in 2015. However, according to the Justice Department’s Inspector General, the agency “did not respond to Nassar’s allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency. They deserved and demanded made many fundamental mistakes when they did. responding to them and violated several FBI policies.
Nassar is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted of sexual assault and child pornography.