Simone Biles made the decision to withdraw from multiple events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics due to mental health issues. And in a new interview with New York Magazine, the 24-year-old Olympic champion talks about how she would have done things differently in Tokyo.
"If you looked at everything I've gone through for the past seven years, I should have never made another Olympic team." Biles said, per PEOPLE. "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. So I pushed past that for as long as my mind and my body would let me."
Biles revealed she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar in 2018. Nassar was the former doctor for USA Gymnastics and is now serving a life sentence in prison. Biles has since been open about how the abuse had on her mental health, especially the challenges in Tokyo where she was dealing with "twisties," which is known as the loss of air awareness.
"My perspective has never changed so quickly from wanting to be on a podium to wanting to be able to go home, by myself, without any crutches," Biles revealed in New York Magazine. "Say up until you're 30 years old, you have your complete eyesight. One morning, you wake up, you can't see s—, but people tell you to go on and do your daily job as if you still have your eyesight. You'd be lost, wouldn't you? That's the only thing I can relate it to. I have been doing gymnastics for 18 years. I woke up — lost it. How am I supposed to go on with my day?"
Biles competed in one event, which was the balance beam. She won the bronze medal in the event also earned a silver medal for the women's artistic team all-around. "Sometimes it's like, yeah, I'm perfectly okay with it. Like, that's how it works. That's how it panned out," Biles admitted. "And then other times I'll just start bawling in the house."
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.