Simone Biles felt like ‘failure’ after Tokyo Olympics

American Simone Biles said she felt like a failure following a disappointing 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Biles was aiming for six gold medals at the Games, which took place in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, the 26-year-old won a silver and bronze as she suffered with the ‘twisties’, which gymnasts describe as a kind of mental block, in Japan.

“I wish I could sit here and tell you it was glorious,” Biles told Vanity Fair magazine., external

“When I took a break after 2016 [Rio Olympics], I had the time of my life. I was doing anything and everything.

“But after 2020, it was kind of depressing until I started therapy and got help.

“I felt like a failure.”

Biles won four gold medals at the Games in Rio as she won the all-round, vault, floor and team events.

In Tokyo, she won a silver in the team event and bronze in the beam but pulled out of four events to prioritise her mental health as she struggled with the ‘twisties’.

“Even though I was empowering so many people and speaking out about mental health, every time I talked about my experience in Tokyo – because it obviously didn’t go the way that I had planned – it stung a little bit. But all in all, it was the best decision,” added Biles.

She returned to gymnastics following a two-year break when she won the all-round title at the US Classic.

Biles went on to win four gold medals at the World Championships in Belgium in 2023 and, in winning her second, became the most decorated gymnast in history with a total of 34 world and Olympic medals.

On making the Olympics in Paris this year, she said: “If I don’t make it to Paris, it won’t absolutely crush me.”

Source: BBC News

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