Simone Biles reveals she’s ‘still scared to do gymnastics’
In an appearance on "Today," Biles also disclosed that she's the chief impact officer of a mental wellness health app called Cerebral.
Simone Biles is headlining the “Gold Over America” Tour, which features the very best gymnasts, but the multiple medal-winning Olympian is still scared of the sport that capitulated her to fame.
While appearing on Today early Thursday morning to promote the tour and advocate for sound mental health, Biles shared her hesitancy to perform “twisties.” She will only do floor exercises, not the twisting flips in midair that have mesmerized fans worldwide.
“I don’t twist. I do … my signature moves on the floor, but that’s never affected me. Everything else just, like, weighs so heavy, and I watch the girls do it and it’s just, it’s not the same,” Biles told Hoda Kotb.
“Yeah. To do something that I’ve done forever and just not be able to do it because of everything I’ve gone through is really crazy because I love this sport so much,” she continued, visibly holding back tears. “But it’s hard. I’m sorry. And I don’t think people understand the magnitude of what I go through.”
“For so many years, to go through everything that I’ve gone through, put on a front, I’m proud of myself, and I’m happy I can be a leader for the survivors and bring courage to everybody speaking up,” Biles contended. “So I’m happy to be a voice for them. But we go through our own things. It’s hard.”
The four-time Olympic gold medalist stunned the world when she withdrew from the all-around, uneven bars, floor exercise, and vault finals at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Biles said she did not regret her choice.
“The twisting once I got back will come back,” she revealed, “but I’m still scared to do gymnastics.”
Biles made the decision to consider “mind and body” first, which triggered her “twisties,” she said, a form of disorientation for gymnasts, theGrio previously reported.
Biles left the Tokyo Olympics with one silver and one bronze medal, tying with Shannon Miller as the most decorated American gymnast of all time with seven medals. Still, her anxiety has not subsided.
“I wouldn’t change anything for the world,” Biles said. “I think everything happens for a reason.”
She also encouraged others to prioritize their own mental health, and shared that she’s now the chief impact officer of telemedicine app, Cerebral, as well as an investor. Being vulnerable and fostering conversation have been at the forefront of her mind.
Biles testified over the summer before the U.S. Judiciary Committee about the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
“To go through something like that and to be a voice for all of the survivors and people who want to come forward and talk about their stories, it’s really inspiring,” Biles said on Today. “But it’s hard that I have to go through it because, again, people form their own opinions, and I don’t really get to say what’s going on.”