Olympian Simone Biles has revealed that her aunt died just two days prior to competing in the balance beam event.
Biles, 24, withdrew from four individual finals all-around, vault, floor and uneven bars last week citing mental health concerns and “the twisties,” a condition when gymnasts lose their sense of awareness in the air. “At the end of the day, people don’t understand what we are going through,” Biles said. “Two days ago, I woke up and my aunt unexpectedly passed, and it wasn’t any easier being here at the Olympic Games.”
On Tuesday, Biles told reporters that a sports psychologist had helped her to feel “more level-headed” before the beam finals. “Every day I had to be medically evaluated by the doctors, and then I had two sessions with a sports psychologist which kind of helped keep me more level-headed,” said Biles, regarding preparations for the beam final.
“I was cleared to do beam, which I honestly didn’t think I’d be cleared to do last night.” Biles also said she would treasure the bronze her seventh Olympic medal all the more after everything she’d been through. In an Instagram post, the 24-year-old Biles said she is “leaving Tokyo with a full heart.”
“Not at all how I imagined or dreamed my second Olympics would go but blessed to represent the USA,” wrote Biles. “I’ll forever cherish this unique Olympic experience. thanks everyone for the endless love and support. I’m truly grateful.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
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