Simone Biles: ‘I Think a Lot of Good Things Came From Taking a Different Route at the Olympics’

by Yah Yah
Simone Biles

U.S. gymnastics champion Simone Biles was recently crowned TIME Magazine’s “Athlete of the Year.”

Following her time at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Biles has made wellness her top priority.

Biles was forced to tap out of several Olympic events after suffering from a case of “the twisties.” At one point, there was doubt over whether she would return to the global event.

After much soul-searching, Biles eventually returned to the event and won a bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics in the balance beam final. She now holds seven Olympic medals — tying her with Shannon Miller for the most by a U.S. gymnast.

Biles’ fearlessness and determination still earned her pushback from critics who anticipated her returning home with five gold medals. She faced heartless backlash from fierce critics, including members of the media.

In a recent interview with Net-A-Porter, Biles seems thankful for the experience.

“I think a lot of good things came from taking a different route at the Olympics,” she told the outlet of her decision to withdraw. “I do believe everything happens for a reason.”

“My self-care routine looks a little bit different than pulling out of the Olympics,” she says. Specifically, it involves “taking baths, going to the spa, having movie nights with my boyfriend and spending time at the pool with my dogs.”

While some “fans” and media outlets judged her harshly for the withdrawal, several high-profile athletes spoke out in her defense—and in defense of Black women athletes in general.

Tennis champion Naomi Osaka was one of those athletes.

“Simone is one of the greatest athletes ever and I admire her so much – on and off the competitive stage,” Osaka gushed to the publication. “What she did at the Olympics was incredibly brave and I’m sure helped so many people who are dealing with similar issues in their own lives. It will be a watershed moment in Olympic sport and will be remembered and celebrated as significantly as her gold medals.”

Biles now recognizes that her life moving forwards have got to be more than “gym, gym, gym.”

She says now she is focused on “making sure I have the proper time to spend with my family, my friends and my boyfriend,” and is teaching herself how to just “sit down and relax – because my biggest thing before was thinking that, if I’m not doing anything, I’m being lazy.”


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