Simone Biles is speaking about the Olympics and why she feels she should have stepped away.
The 24-year-old told The Cut's Camonghne Felix, “If you looked at everything I've gone through for the past seven years, I should have never made another Olympic team.”
Biles continued, "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."
In 2018, Biles spoke out publicly about t the sexual abuse she suffered by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, which she says directly and negatively affected her mental health at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
On Sept. 15, she joined other members of Team USA Gymnastics speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee over what they said was the FBI’s failed investigation into Nassar’s actions.
Of course, Biles still won at the Olympics. She took the bronze medal in the balance beam final, finishing her run in the Tokyo Olympic games. She withdrew from the all-around competition, but cheered as her teammate Suni Lee won the gold medal.
Like many athletes in every sport, Biles faced mental and physical challenges to her peak performance and made the decision to prioritize her health as well as keeping the welfare of her team in mind. Dominique Dawes, who won gold for Team USA at the 1996 games in Atlanta explained why this was a wise decision.
“As a 15-year-veteran in gymnastics, I went through a great deal of mental block,” Dawes told BET.com in an interview. “It's very scary, and to have to fight through that during an Olympic Games would be quite challenging.”
With seven Olympic gymnastics medals, Biles now ties Shannon Miller as the most decorated gymnasts in U.S. history.