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Simone Biles breaks down discussing mental health and is “scared” of gymnastics

American gymnast Simone Biles has given a searingly honest interview where she opened up on her mental health struggles

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Tokyo 2020 round-up: Biles wins bronze on return to action

Olympic legend Simone Biles broke down in tears while discussing her mental health in a brave interview on US TV.

The 24-year-old, widely considered the greatest gymnast of all time, pulled out of several events during the Olympics in Tokyo earlier this year.

She continues to suffer from the ‘twisties’, similar to the yips in golf, meaning she cannot perform stunts she ordinarily would be able to in mid-air.

And Biles admits it has made it difficult for her to watch other gymnasts perform the moves on the Gold Over America Tour.

Speaking on the Today Show, she tearfully said: “To do something that I’ve done forever and just not be able to do it because of everything I’ve gone through is really crazy because I love this sport so much.



Biles gave a tearful interview on the Today Show




“It’s hard. I’m sorry. And I don’t think people understand the magnitude of what I go through, but for so many years to go through everything that I’ve gone through having a front, I’m proud of myself.

“[It] weighs so heavy and I watch the girls do it, and it’s just not the same.

“And I’m happy I can be a leader for the survivors and bring courage to everybody speaking up, so I’m happy to be a voice for them. But we go through our own things. It’s hard.

“The twisting once I got back will come back, but I’m still scared of gymnastics. It does kind of suck because I worked really, really hard for that, and it’s just hard.”

Biles also bravely spoke of why she believes it went wrong in Tokyo, referencing the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of former team doctor Larry Nassar.









Nassar, 58, was convicted of multiple sex crimes in 2018 and sentenced to between 40 and 175 years behind bars.

Over the years, after supressing so many emotions and putting up a front a global scene, I think all of that came to light and my body and my mind allowed me to supress all of that stuff for so many years, for as long as it could take,’ she said.

“And as soon as we stepped onto the Olympic scene, it just decided it couldn’t do it anymore and it cracked, and that’s what happens,” she added.

“And that’s why taking care of your mental well-being and mental health is so important, so that something like that doesn’t happen.



Biles broke down during the searingly honest interview




“And I’m grateful that it wasn’t somebody else, and it was me, because I know I’m strong enough and I can get back on my feet and I’m gonna get back on my feet with the right help.

“In the moment, I tried to blame myself again, but I knew I couldn’t put that blame on myself.

“And once that happened, all the pieces were put together, and I knew exactly what was going on, why it was happening, and it sucked because, again, I’m on a global stage and everybody gets to watch me go through that.

“And they get to form their own opinion before I even get to voice and say what’s going on.”









Biles won one bronze and one silver medal in Tokyo, adding to the four gold medals and another bronze she won in Rio in 2016.

The gymnast also opened up on suffering from panic attacks, and revealed how she is coping with them.

She explained: “Now I have different techniques that I can use, but you know, to go through something like that and be a voice for all of the survivors and people who want to come forward and talk about their stories, it’s just, it’s really inspiring but it’s hard that I have to go through it.

“Because, again, people form their own opinions and I don’t really get to say what’s going on.



Biles won two medals in Tokyo
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Image:

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“It’s been unique, because everybody’s journey is unique and different.

“And going through something like that on a global stage is so crazy, so I’m trying to navigate that the best way I can while still going out there and putting on shows, which I absolutely love to do because it brings me so much joy.

“But at the end of the day, I still go through my own set of problems that I have to deal with.

“Getting the mental health therapy that I need has been really releiving to me, especially being on the road, on tour. So I’m really happy to have such a great app to help out with that.”




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