Simone Biles prevailed with a bronze medal on the balance beam at the 2021 Olympics on Tuesday after the USA gymnastics star not only battled through the strain on her mental health and a case of the “twisties,” but the recent death of her aunt.
It was already an eventful trip to Tokyo for Biles, who suddenly withdrew from the gymnastic team final and subsequently pulled out of the first three apparatus finals before defending her bronze medal on beam Tuesday.
“It wasn’t easy pulling out of all those competitions,” Biles told reporters, per The Guardian. “People just thought it was easy, but I physically and mentally was not in the right head space and I didn’t want to jeopardize my health and my safety because at the end of the day, it’s not worth it.
“My mental and physical health is above all medals that I could ever win. So to be clear, to do beam, which I didn’t think I was going to be, just meant the world to be back out there. And I wasn’t expecting to walk away with the medal. I was just going out there doing this for me.”
Biles told reporters that her aunt on her father’s side “unexpectedly passed.”
“That was another one, I was like, ‘Oh my God. This week needs to be over,’ ” Biles’ coach Cecile Canqueteau-Landi told People. “I asked her what do you need.
“And she said, ‘I just need some time.’ I said, ‘You call me, text me if you need anything I’ll be here. Whatever that is.’ She called her parents. She said, ‘There’s nothing I can do from over here. So I’m just going to finish my week and when I get home we’ll deal with it.’ “
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SOURCE: New York Post, Mollie Walker