Simone Biles leaves the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with two medals. And while that is an accomplishment, fans are happy that Biles was able to make the tough decision to withdraw from a few events as she was dealing with mental health issues. The 24-year-old gymnast recently spoke to NBC's Mike Tirico and opened up about battling mental health at the Olympics.
"I'm going home in one piece, which I was a little bit nervous about," Biles said. "So, I'm not mad. It's not how I wanted it to go, but I think we've opened bigger doors and bigger conversations." Biles withdrew from events after training for five years. While some people didn't understand the decision, many praised Biles for making sure she's healthy mentally. Biles talked about how she was dealing with "twisties" which is a loss of spatial awareness during the preliminary stage of the Olympics.
"Just completely random," Biles said. "I went to do a floor pass and I just got lost in the air and I was like, 'OK, it was a fluke.' Didn't do any more. The next day we had a little practice before team final and I was like, 'OK, well I have to do that again because that was really weird and it seemed off.' And then I just could not get a sense of where I was in the air."
That's what led Biles to withdraw from the team final and became a cheerleader for her teammates. Team USA won the silver medal, which was no surprise to Biles. "Well, I knew they could do the job and that's exactly what I told them as they found out I was pulling out for the rest of the competition," Biles said. "I was like, 'You guys are trained for this, you're going to be just fine without me. Go out there, do your gymnastics and have fun. I'll be here cheering you on. If you need anything let me know.' It was hard to watch from the sidelines, but I knew it was going to be the best option for myself and for the team if we wanted to medal."
Biles was able to return to action on the final day, winning the bronze medal on the balance beam. She now has seven Olympics medals, which ties her with Shannon Miller for the most by a female American gymnast. Along with the "twisties" and revealing that her aunt died during the Olympics, Biles showed that she's a strong competitor who is a hero to many people in the U.S.