Simone Biles Says She’s “Still Scared to Do Gymnastics”
For the last few years, Simone Biles has tended to give her most intimate and emotional interviews when sitting down with Today’s Hoda Kotb, and the power of their bond became especially apparent when Biles pulled out of the team gymnastics competition at the Tokyo Olympics in late July after experiencing a loss of air awareness during a twisting vault. Kotb was in the Ariake Gymnastics Centre that day and soon sprang into action, later revealing that she even kept in touch with Biles’s mom, Nellie, who was unable to join her daughter due to Olympic rules.
On Thursday, Biles visited the Today show again, and her conversation with Kotb about her mental health and her future in gymnastics had her holding back tears. She explained that she has still not gotten back her ability to twist, though she is performing different skills, including double lay half-outs, in the ongoing Athleta Gold Over America Tour.
“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 said as she began to tear up. “But it’s hard. I’m sorry. And I don’t think people understand the magnitude of what I go through.”
She also mentioned her experience serving as an advocate for abuse survivors in the sport, which continued last month when she joined Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and Maggie Nichols to testify in front of Congress. “For so many years, to go through everything that I’ve gone through, put on a front, I’m proud of myself and I’m happy that I can be a leader for the survivors and bring courage to everybody speaking up,” continued Biles. “So I’m happy to be a voice for them. But we go through our own things. It’s hard.” Referencing previous experiences losing her air awareness, which eventually returned, she said she was still feeling apprehensive about the sport. “The twisting, once I got [it] back, will come back, but I’m still scared to do gymnastics.”
Biles was joined on the program by Kyle Robertson, the CEO of Cerebral, a telehealth app for which she recently became a user and investor. Kotb asked about her experience after turning into an advocate for self-care. “You kind of became the face of mental health,” the journalist said. “What a transition for someone who’s worked since she was a little kid on just one track, and now it’s changed. How have you been handling that?”
“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,” Biles responded. “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.”
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Published at Thu, 21 Oct 2021 19:38:28 +0000