Putting her mental health first. Simone Biles has become an advocate for taking care of emotional well-being, and the Olympic gymnast will only compete again if it won’t negatively impact her mental health, she told Us Weekly exclusively.
“Everything that I’ve been through with the organization of USAG just makes for a sticky situation,” Biles, 24, explained to Us while promoting the Gold Over America Tour with Jordan Chiles. “It just sucks. And it’s, like, I love the sport so much, but I feel like it’s just a hit to the gut every time something comes out or new information has been revealed.”
In September, the Olympic gold medalist testified in a US Senate hearing where she slammed USA Gymnastics as well as the government officials and other organizations who didn’t properly investigate Dr. Larry Nassar after many gymnasts accused him of sexual abuse.
“We suffered and continue to suffer, because no one at FBI, USAG, or the USOPC did what was necessary to protect us,” Biles said at the time.
Now, she isn’t sure she can feel at ease working with those sports organizations.
“I love the sport. I love the people that I work with. I love the girls that I trained with, but those organizations, it’s just like — ugh!” Biles told Us. “It’s just like a huge dumpster fire that we’re trying to get rid of and that I’m trying to stay as far away from so that my mental health can be intact and if I do decide to train again that I have a clean slate.”
The Ohio native emphasized that she has nothing but love for her coaches and fellow gymnasts, but her body clearly indicated that she needs to make sure her mind is right before competing. Biles had to back out of several competitions at this year’s summer Olympics after she experienced “the twisties.”
“The mental aspect obviously got me during Tokyo and it’s, like, some of those things you can’t ignore and my body didn’t ignore,” she said.
Biles, who has been performing on the Athleta Presents Gold Over America Tour throughout the fall, continued, “If we can keep that under control, I would love to train again. But then, at the end of the day, if it costs me my peace, I’m going to step away. And I’m completely fine with stepping away because I’ve been through so much. I’ve accomplished so much.”
Silver medalist Chiles told Us that she and their fellow tour mates (including Grace McCallum, MyKayla Skinner, Jade Carey and more) put all of their support behind Biles regardless of what she wants to do with her life.
“All we’ve been doing is supporting her and making sure that her mind is in the right space and all that stuff, so she can continue with doing what she wants,” Chiles said. “This girl is crazy, this girl is out of this world. She has a huge future ahead of her, if it’s in gymnastics or it’s not. It just depends because that’s how strong she is and that’s all we can do is just support her.”
For now, the two are focused on Gold Over America livestream. The tour wrapped up on Sunday, November 7, but fans will have a chance to watch the high energy gymnastics show online for one day only.
“It’s more of a pop show/gymnastics concert type deal. We have gymnast, we have dancers. We have the whole shebang and it’s really exciting, very upbeat,” Biles added. “Some of the good hit songs that make you want to get up on your feet and dance as well as some of the best gymnasts in the world.”
Athleta Presents Gold Over America Tour will be streaming on the Stellar platform on Saturday, December 4 starting at 4 p.m. ET.