Simone Biles, the current most decorated gymnast ever, has said she should have quit “way before Tokyo, when Larry Nassar was in the media for two years.”
Disgraced gymnast coach Larry Nassar was recently sentenced to 125 years in prison for sexually abusing women he coached at Michigan State University.
Biles has stated media attention she received during the Nassar trial as part of the reason she no longer feels able to compete.
“It was too much,” she said, “But I was not going to let him [Nassar] take something I’ve worked for since I was six years old.”
I wasn’t going to let him take that joy away from me. So I pushed past that for as long as my mind and my body would let me.”
Prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Biles had been seeing a therapist.
She said the anxiety set in “as soon as she arrived in Tokyo,” partly due to the coronavirus restrictions meaning her friends and family could not attend.
“Leading up to it, I got more and more nervous,” she says. “I didn’t feel as confident as I should have been with as much training as we had.”
The 19-time world champion describes the time she got the “twisties” during her vault routine as “basically life or death” and “it’s a miracle I landed on my feet.”
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