Simone Biles arrived at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 as a favorite and the decorated gymnast was expected to bag medals at the event. Instead, Biles sent shockwaves among fans by pulling out of the competition.
Biles announced her shock withdrawal from the women’s gymnastics team final at the Tokyo Olympics, citing mental health problems. The announcement was truly a bolt from the blue. Ahead of the event, the gymnast gave multiple interviews where she revealed that she was working hard for the Olympics.
Biles’ withdrawal from the Olympics came as an eye-opener for many. Arguably the world’s best gymnast struggling with mental health problems started a long overdue conversation about the pressure on athletes.
Months ahead of the competition, Biles had said that she was working tirelessly for the Summer Games. She revealed her hectic training schedule during an interview with Jimmy Fallon.
Speaking about her preparations for the event, Simone Biles revealed that she was following a six-day training schedule and said:
“I train seven hours a day. I do have Sundays off. So, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, I train twice a day. Thursday and Saturday I train once a day.”
During the interview, Biles also spoke about her then-upcoming docuseries Simone vs Herself. She said:
“It’s me just taking myself to new heights at the gym, trying new skills. It’s a little bit of a look inside my life because I feel like people always think that I’m always training but besides that, I have a lot of amazing partners I work with. So, I get to share my time in between there but it’s not all glitz and glam. Sometimes we have to get down and dirty in the gym.”
At only 25, Simone Biles can make a strong comeback at the Paris Olympics. The athlete remains one of the most popular names in the sport. While Biles is yet to announce her next move, she has remained active. Biles continues to give regular drug tests as per the FIG (Federal International De Gymnastique) policy.
Although no confirmation has come from her side, Simone Biles recently hinted at a possible return to the Olympics. In a conversation with Extra TV’s Cheslie Kryst in November of 2021, the gymnast pondered her future.
Biles revealed that she would compete for herself if she did indeed decide to participate and told Cheslie Kryst:
“I feel like I have a lot of options to weigh. I had a very successful career, so I can’t be mad about that. When I started, I was like ‘I just want to get a college scholarship,’ and then… I’ve kind of exceeded my own expectations. If I work for 2024, it would definitely just be for me. Get that mindset out there and just lay it on the floor… And then probably wave goodbye to the sport, competing at least!”
Biles went on to state that she was ready to spend time ‘as a girlfriend, a daughter, a dog mom’ after she calls time on her career.
It is pertinent to note that Simone Biles’ seven Olympic medals make her the most decorated American gymnast. She most recently received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, becoming the youngest recipient of the prestigious award.