Simone Biles is "hurt" that people thought she had quit the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
The 24-year-old gymnast decided to pull out of the individual all-around, vault, bars and floor finals last week due to mental health issues and the twisties - which causes gymnasts to become disoriented mid-air - and she's devastated that her fans accused her of taking the easy way out because it wasn't an "easy decision" to withdraw from the competition that she had been working hard for over the last five years
5 August 2021
Speaking to E! Online, Simone said: "It wasn't an easy decision so it hurts that people were like, ‘Oh she quit or she did this' because I've worked five years for that, why would I quit?" Biles explained. "Like, I've been through so much over the past couple years in the sport, like, I just don't quit. That's not what I do. But the girls could see it and I knew that they would get the job done and that's exactly what they did so they won silver.
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"At the end of the day, we're not just athletes or entertainment, we're human too and we have real emotions. And sometimes, they don't realise we have things going on behind the scenes that affect us whenever we go out and compete."
However, Simone can see why people were angry with her because nobody can see her mental health issues.
She explained: "I feel like I push things under the rug. I just kind of go along with it, but it was something bigger than me in that moment.
After team finals or so we went to the village and I honestly expected to feel a little bit embarrassed and people were still coming up to me saying how much I meant and done for them in their world and that was just the craziest feeling ever.
"In that moment, I was like okay there's more than gymnastics and medals.' "
Despite the issues she experienced last week, Simone decided to take part in the balance beam final on Tuesday (03.08.21) after lower her level of difficulty and changing her dismount to avoid the twisties.
And her determination to take on the 4-inch apparatus paid off as her routine bagged her third place on the podium alongside China's Chenchen Guan and Tang Xijing.