Simone Biles had a tough time during the Tokyo Olympics. Still, even after pulling out of several events after coming down with a case of “the twisties,” she says she received an overwhelming amount of support.
Biles says that one of the people who reached out was none other than four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka. Osaka made headlines after pulling out of the French Open and Wimbledon to focus on her mental health.
“She was actually really sweet and she reached out,” Biles told Entertainment Tonight. “I was so overwhelmed, so I didn’t get the chance to respond, but I had so many people reach out and she was just so sweet.”
Biles is thankful that Osaka put a spotlight on the issue ahead of the Olympics.
“She is speaking up about mental health, and I think it is really important that athletes put their mental health first,” Biles said, “because, at the end of the day, that is what is going to determine how well we go out there and compete in whatever sport that is.”
“I think now that it is a leading topic of conversation, it is really helpful, because at the end of the day, we are athletes and it is our craft, but we are human too,” she added.
Despite the challenges, Biles does not regret heading to Tokyo.
“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 said. “I believe everything happens for a reason, so I wouldn’t take it back for the world.”
Biles 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.
“I wasn’t expecting to medal,” Biles said per The New York Times. “To have one more opportunity to be at the Olympics meant the world to me.”