Speed Reads

'too much'

Simone Biles says she 'should have quit way before Tokyo' but wouldn't let Nassar 'take that joy away from me'

Gymnast Simone Biles opened up in an emotional new profile about her Tokyo Olympics withdrawal, reflecting that looking at what she's gone through suggests she "should have quit" long before. 

Biles spoke with The Cut in a profile published Monday two months after she withdrew from competition at the Tokyo Olympics due to mental health concerns after experiencing the "twisties," a phenomenon that can cause gymnasts to lose their bearings. She explained that she was "not physically capable" and that the twisties are "so dangerous" that "it's a miracle I landed on my feet" at the women's team final. She noted that she quickly went from wanting to "be on a podium" at the Olympics to just wanting to go home "without any crutches." Biles later returned to the competition, winning a bronze medal. 

Biles has previously discussed her sexual abuse by former team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, and she recently gave emotional testimony to Congress blasting the way the investigation into Nassar was handled. She teared up while telling The Cut, "If you looked at everything I've gone through for the past seven years, I should have never made another Olympic team. I should have quit way before Tokyo, when Larry Nassar was in the media for two years. It was too much. But I was not going to let him take something I've worked for since I was 6 years old. I wasn't going to let him take that joy away from me."

Looking back on what happened at the Olympics, Biles said she "learned a lot about myself" through the experience, especially how to "say no and speak up for yourself." She said, though, that she's anxious for a "doctor to tell me when I'll be over this." Read the full profile at The Cut