Mental health


Simone Biles Says She's Managing Her Mental Health as She Returns to Gymnastics with 'Lots of Therapy'

Simone Biles Says She's Managing Her Mental Health as She Returns to Gymnastics with 'Lots of Therapy'
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Simone Biles is sharing how she’s prioritizing her mental health as she re-enters the world of gymnastics.

The 26-year-old gymnast recently confirmed she will be competing for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics in the 2023 U.S. Classic in August. On Sunday, she answered fan questions on her Instagram Stories, addressing one who asked how she’s “handling the mental side” of her return to the sport.

“Lot’s of therapy, I go once a week for almost 2 hrs,” she shared. “I’ve had so much trauma, so being able to work on some of the traumas & work on healing is a blessing.”

Simone Biles of USA competes on Vault during the Apparatus Finals on Day 9 of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships
Getty Images

Another follower asked Biles why she chose to get into gymnastics in the first place compared to any other sport.

Biles responded that it was the first sport she tried on a "daycare field trip." "I instantly fell in love and have done it ever since," she wrote.

On June 28, USA Gymnastics announced that the four-time gold medalist will compete against fellow Olympic all-around gold medalist Sunisa Lee, 20, and 2020 Olympic floor champion Jade Carey, 23, at the August 4-5 event, which holds 12 Olympic and 16 World Championships team roster members.

The gymnastics superstar tweeted to confirm the news a week later.

sorry I’ve been a little MIA since the announcement I’m overwhelmed with all of your messages, support & love! excited to get back out on the competition floor! XOXO

After the pandemic delayed the Tokyo Olympics to 2021, Biles came in as the reigning Olympic all-around champion and frontrunner for gold in the team, all-around and vault events. However, she pulled out of the women’s gymnastics team all-around final after her first apparatus, following some rare mistakes in the qualifying round.

Biles attributed her withdrawal from competition due the “twisties,” a phenomenon in gymnastics where athletes lose the ability to sense their body moving through the air.  After withdrawing from the individual all-around finals for vault, uneven bars and floor exercise, Biles cited the need to “focus on her mental health.”

Upon return to the competition, she earned a silver medal with her team and a bronze medal on the balance beam final. With 32 combined medals from the Olympics and World Championships, Biles is considered one of the greatest gymnasts of all time.

Biles said in Sept. 2022 that she's unsure if she'll attempt to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, she said on the Late Late Show with James Corden. She also admitted that she “still has to heal mentally and physically.”

After the Tokyo games, Biles married NFL player Jonathan Owens in a courthouse ceremony in April before celebrating with a bigger wedding in Cabo San Lucas the following month.


Photo: AFP via Getty
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