But the sports world was absolutely aghast when during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Biles made the difficult decision to prioritize her mental well-being and withdrew herself from the July 27 and July 29 all-around competitions. Biles said she was battling with self-confidence and a case of the “twisties,”— a term often used in the gymnastics community to describe the feeling of uncertainty when a gymnast doesn’t know where they are in the air. The misstep could potentially lead to serious injury.
“I just don’t trust myself as much as I used to,” Biles told reporters after she announced her withdrawal. “I don’t know if it’s age. I’m a little bit more nervous when I do gymnastics. I feel like I’m also not having as much fun, and I know that this Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself. I came here, and I felt like I was still doing it for other people. So that just hurts my heart that doing what I love has been kind of taken away from me to please other people.”
That unprecedented move for an athlete of her caliber and status sparked a global conversation about the importance of mental health in sports. Biles’ willingness to openly discuss her struggles has shattered the stigma surrounding mental well-being and has brought attention to the unique pressures faced by athletes. By prioritizing her mental health, the GOAT demonstrated that true strength lies not only in physical prowess but also in recognizing and addressing one’s emotional needs.
Her courage extends beyond the sports world to the real world for every day citizens who struggle with mental health issues and the stigma surrounding them, to take action, seek help and feel better about themselves, their lives and their futures. She is a true champion.
Her fearlessness in addressing mental health has sparked a broader dialogue about the well-being of athletes and the importance of nurturing one’s mental resilience.
Simone Biles is much more than a gymnastics icon; she is a symbol of strength, resilience, and compassion. Through her extraordinary achievements and unwavering commitment to mental health, she has left an indelible mark on the world of sports and beyond. Biles’ legacy serves as a testament to the power of perseverance, the importance of self-care and the limitless potential that lies within each of us.
And there’s so much more ahead for the incredible athlete.
In May, Biles said “I do” to her longtime boyfriend Jonathan Owens. The happy couple had a lavish wedding in Cabo San Lucas with 140 guests. The beautiful bride wore four different dresses during the ceremony. Biles told fans during a recent Instagram Q&A session, that it was “kind of dramatic” to wear so many different gowns during the ceremony. “But you only have a wedding once,” she gushed.