Superstar gymnast Simone Biles says she had a realization after unexpectedly withdrawing from competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games: “I’m more than my accomplishments.”
After removing herself from both the team and individual all-around competitions at the Games to focus on her mental health, Biles received a wave of support from the athletic community, including her teammates, Team USA, mental health advocate Michael Phelps and one of her sponsors, Athleta. The reigning all-around champion sent an emotional thank you tweet to her supporters overnight.
“The outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before,” Biles wrote.
After failing to properly complete her intended vault during the team competition, Biles huddled with her trainer and exited the competition floor with the team doctor. Teammate Jordan Chiles replaced Biles and Team USA was forced to finish without her, ultimately earning a silver medal and ending their bid for a third straight Olympic title.
The 24-year-old said that, while competing on vault, she experienced a state of disorientation gymnasts have dubbed “the twisties.” The 24-year-old said she became concerned that she would injure herself because her mind was disconnected from her body.
“I was just like, shaking,” she said during a news conference, referring to the waiting period ahead of the team competition. “I’ve never felt like this going into competition before.”
After a tough qualifying round, Biles had posted on social media that she felt the “weight of the world” on her shoulders.