Simone Biles Reveals Family Tragedy That Sidelined Her at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/04/2021, 7:51 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Women’s Team – Final – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – July 27, 2021. Simone Biles of the United States during the Women’s Team Final REUTERS/Mike Blake


Last week couldn’t seem to get much worse for 24-year-old Simone Biles. The American gymnast had an unfortunate week at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, as she had to withdraw from almost all the events she had qualified for.

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Biles just had one of the worst weeks an Olympic gymnast can possibly have. She suffered from mental health issues, had a case of the twisties, and recently revealed the passing of a family member. Despite going through all this, Simone Biles defended her Olympic Bronze medal.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Women’s Beam – Medal Ceremony – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – August 3, 2021. Gold medallist Guan Chenchen of China, silver medallist Tang Xijing of China and bronze medallist Simone Biles of the United States pose with medals. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Simone Biles lost a family member

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The American spoke in an interview of all the things that disturbed her mental health. It made her unsure of herself and led to her withdrawing from most of her events. “It wasn’t easy pulling out of all those competitions,” Biles told reporters, per The Guardian

“People just thought it was easy, but I physically and mentally was not in the right headspace and I didn’t want to jeopardize my health and my safety because, at the end of the day, it’s not worth it.

“My mental and physical health is above all medals that I could ever win. So to be clear, to do beam, which I didn’t think I was going to be, just meant the world to be back out there. And I wasn’t expecting to walk away with the medal. I was just going out there doing this for me.”

She also told reporters that an aunt on her father’s side had passed away. At that point, she was just praying that the week got over. She told her coach Cecil Landi that she needed time and that she was not in the right mental state to compete.

Defending her Balance Beam Bronze medal

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They cleared Simone Biles to compete on the Balance Beam since it requires very minimal high-speed twisting. She scored a solid 14.000 which secured the third position for the American. China had a 1-2 finish with Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing, respectively.

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Simone Biles is now tied with Shannon Miller for the most Olympic medals by an American gymnast. 

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Allan Binoy

216 articles

Allan Binoy is a Combat Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in English Literature. Allan is a semi-professional football player for Diego Juniors FC.

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