Simone Biles says she wouldn’t ‘take back’ decision to withdraw from Olympics
"I believe everything happens for a reason, so I wouldn't take it back for the world," said Biles in a new interview.
Simone Biles publicly withdrew herself from competing in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and chose to put her “mind and body” first. The superstar athlete now says she has no regrets about pulling out of the competition.
“I believe everything happens for a reason, so I wouldn’t take it back for the world,” Biles told ET’s Nischelle Turner.
The American gymnastics champ won bronze during the balance beam a week after she took herself out of several competitions, theGrio previously reported. Biles earned her seventh career Olympic medal — tied with Shannon Miller for the most by an American in gymnastics — by drilling a slightly watered-down version of her usual routine in front of a crowd that included IOC President Thomas Bach.
She bailed out of her vault during the first rotation of the team finals on July 27, then stunningly removed herself from the competition as a matter of protection because she was having difficulty locating herself in the air. She later described the phenomenon as “the twisties” and subsequently pulled out of the all-around, uneven bars, floor exercise, and vault finals.
“Obviously there are still a lot of feels and emotions behind it, but as far as my Olympic experience goes, it was very unique and there is nothing like it,” she shared with ET.
“I wasn’t in the right headspace to compete, so I can’t be mad,” Biles continued. “I made the safest decision and it took a lot of courage.”
Biles’ teammates supported her decision to put her mental health first. The U.S. Gymnastics team left Tokyo with two golds — Sunisa Lee won the all-around competition, and Jade Carey earned the top spot in the floor exercise.
Biles and her teammates — Carey, MyKayla Skinner, Grace McCallum, and Jordan Chiles — reunited over Zoom on Wednesday for the ET interview, and she offered a piece of solid advice to them as they navigate their newfound fame.
“I would just say be smart, especially on social media, because that can play a huge role for the rest of our careers,” she told Turner. “But just have fun, capitalize on your success and just go out there– I mean, you guys are Olympic medalists, so it’s awesome.”
Biles and her teammates will embark on the 35-city Athleta Presents Gold Over America Tour, which kicks off in September. The all-star line-up of gymnasts includes Laurie Hernandez, Katelyn Ohashi, Peng Peng Lee, Danusia Francis, Morgan Hurd, and more.
“It’s an all-star team of gymnasts,” Biles recently told PEOPLE. “It’s a high-energy, pop music, gymnastics spectacular. … There’s a lot of excitement.”
The tour is described as “a high-energy, gymnastics-meets-pop-concert spectacular with a soundtrack from today’s biggest hitmakers.”
Biles said the upcoming event will be something that audiences have “never seen before.”
“It is going to be a humungous gymnastics spectacular,” Chiles told ET of the tour. “There is going to be LED lights, there is going to be interactions in different ways on social media and stuff… There is going to be gymnastics and dancing as well. It is going to be a fun tour.”
The Gold Over America Tour kicks off on Sept. 21 at the Tucson Arena in Tucson, Arizona. Click here for tickets.
“I love the sport of gymnastics and want to help create a show that captures the pure joy of performing,” said Biles. “Athleta Presents Gold Over America Tour will match athleticism and entertainment, all while celebrating the gold inside each of us!”
*This story contains additional reporting from theGRIO’s Associated Press.
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