Simone Biles admits she thought she’d be ‘BANNED from America’ and says she ‘will never forgive herself’ after she sensationally QUIT Tokyo Olympics events amid mental health struggles: Gymnast fears same issues will hamper her shot at gold in Paris

Photo of author
Written By Maya Cantina

Gymnast Simone Biles has opened up about the harrowing first thought she had after she messed up her vault during the Tokyo Olympics – and she admitted that she was terrified she would be ‘banned from America’ due to the mishap.

The Olympic gold medalist, 27, withdrew from many events at the 2020 games in Asia, after she famously stumbled during her vault after suffering from something called ‘the twisties’ – a mental block that causes gymnasts to feel like they are ‘lost in the air.’

Now, she has spoken out about the initial thing that went through her mind after she landed the vault – and she explained that immediately, all she could think about was what people were going to say about her.

During a recent appearance on Alex Cooper’s Call Her Daddy podcast, which aired this morning, the athlete said that she was so mortified she ‘wanted to run’ away and get on a plane home immediately.

Gymnast Simone Biles has opened up about the harrowing first thought she had after she messed up her vault during the Tokyo Olympics

The Olympic gold medalist, 27, withdrew from many events at the 2020 games, after she famously stumbled during her vault after suffering from something called 'the twisties'

The Olympic gold medalist, 27, withdrew from many events at the 2020 games, after she famously stumbled during her vault after suffering from something called ‘the twisties’

Now, she has spoken out about the initial thing that went through her mind after she landed the vault during a recent appearance on Alex Cooper's Call Her Daddy podcast

Now, she has spoken out about the initial thing that went through her mind after she landed the vault during a recent appearance on Alex Cooper’s Call Her Daddy podcast

She said she was worried America would ‘hate her’ or brand her as a ‘flop’ for failing to earn another gold medal – and even feared she might not be allowed back home.

‘I wanted to run, if I could have gotten a plane and flown home [right then] I would have done it,’ dished the sports star.

‘As soon as I landed, I was like, “America hates me. The world is going to hate me. I can only [imagine] what they’re saying on Twitter right now.” That was my first thought. 

‘I was like, “Holy s**t, what are they gonna say about me?” Because usually if you go to the Olympics and you flop, everybody on their couch eating their chips [has something to say].

‘I thought I was gonna be banned from America. They tell you, “Don’t come back if it’s not gold. Gold or bust. Don’t come back.”

‘I was like, “I’m gonna be in one of those videos called flops at the Olympics. This is horrible.”‘

The 27-year-old added that she knew immediately that she couldn’t compete any more and needed to pull herself from the rest of the events. 

‘I knew I couldn’t recover. I knew how long the twisties take to get over and I knew it wasn’t overnight,’ she explained.

She explained that immediately, all she could think about was what people were going to say about her - and was terrified she would be 'banned from America' due to the mishap

She explained that immediately, all she could think about was what people were going to say about her - and was terrified she would be 'banned from America' due to the mishap

She explained that immediately, all she could think about was what people were going to say about her – and was terrified she would be ‘banned from America’ due to the mishap

She said she was worried America would 'hate her' or brand her as a 'flop' for failing to earn another gold medal

She said she was worried America would ‘hate her’ or brand her as a ‘flop’ for failing to earn another gold medal

‘Immediately I go to tell my coach, “I’m done I’m not doing anymore.” [I felt like], if I survived that I don’t know how much else I can survive. 

‘I always say I’m a cat with nine lives but I think that was my ninth. I said, “I’m done.”‘

Simone admitted that she was ‘internally freaking out’ but ‘didn’t want to freak out in front of’ her teammates. 

‘I stayed as composed as I could have. I didn’t want to scare the girls,’ she told Alex.

She recalled her teammates telling her that they couldn’t win without her, but she told them, ‘You guys are here because you’re the best in the world. Go out there and do your job.’

She said her ‘heart was broken’ and that it’s ‘something she’ll never forgive herself for.’ 

‘It was really hard on them mentally, they lost their best player, the veteran,’ she added. 

‘That’s something that I’ll never forgive myself for. I wish I could have been in there with them in the way that I was supposed to. But after that, I became their loudest and best cheerleader.

‘At that point it was like, I needed to take care of myself. It was right for my team. I [knew I] couldn’t let my pride get in the way and try to push through just to compete at the Olympics again. I need to see what was wrong mentally.’

During the interview, Simone also spoke about the moments that lead up to the now-infamous vault.

She explained that she felt like ‘something wasn’t right’ on the plane ride to Tokyo, and that she was already ‘having the twisties’ during her training – but that she tried to ‘push past it.’

She said she knew that deep down she was ‘fighting demons’ but wanted to keep going for her ‘teammates.’

‘I literally felt like I was fighting my body and my mind to do these tricks,’ she recalled.

At the Olympics, she said each of them got ‘one turn to warm up their vault,’ and hers went terribly wrong.

‘It didn’t feel comfortable I had no idea where I am, but I’m twisting and praying, like, “[Please] land on my feet,”‘ she remembered of the warmup.

‘All of the gymnast in there from all the countries [could tell]. My teammates were shook … I’m trying to convince myself I’m OK. 

Simone (seen at the 2020 Olympics) said: 'I thought I was gonna be banned from America. They tell you,

Simone (seen at the 2020 Olympics) said: ‘I thought I was gonna be banned from America. They tell you, “Don’t come back if it’s not gold. Gold or bust. Don’t come back”‘

When asked to described what the twisties felt like, she said it was like a 'disconnect between your mind and your body.' She's seen at the 2020 Olympics

When asked to described what the twisties felt like, she said it was like a ‘disconnect between your mind and your body.’ She’s seen at the 2020 Olympics

‘But everything was not OK. But I knew I had to go. I have to put up a score no matter what.’

When asked to described what the twisties felt like, she said it was like a ‘disconnect between your mind and your body.’

‘The best way I could describe it is – every day you drive a car. If one day you woke up and you had no idea how to drive a car and your legs were going crazy you had no control over your body – that’s kind of how it feels,’ she shared. 

‘You’ve been doing something for so long and you no longer have control. It’s terrifying.

‘Your body is going to try to do something and your mind is going to be like, “No you’re not doing.”

Simone previously hinted that the incident had to due with the sexual abuse she had suffered at the hands of pedophile doctor Larry Nassar

She was one of more than 150 gymnasts who were abused by Larry, the former national team doctor, during his 30-year career, and in 2019, she said the trauma of the assaults had left her struggling with suicidal thoughts. 

‘The main reason I did that was because a lot of people followed me and go on my platforms,’ she said on the podcast of her decision to speak out about what she endured.

‘I’ve always been an open and honest book. I decided to speak out because I knew it could help a lot of people. 

‘But I wanted to be in a good enough place and wanted the proper help lined up before I spoke out.

‘Because that stuff was so traumatizing. I [still] don’t understand how I did what I did under those circumstances.’

Simone previously hinted that the incident had to due with the sexual abuse she had suffered at the hands of pedophile doctor Larry Nassar (seen)

Simone previously hinted that the incident had to due with the sexual abuse she had suffered at the hands of pedophile doctor Larry Nassar (seen) 

In September, she revealed on the Today show that she wants to compete at the Games next summer in Paris, France

In September, she revealed on the Today show that she wants to compete at the Games next summer in Paris, France

‘There were a lot of sleepless nights, of like, “Why me?”‘ she added of the horrific abuse.

Simone made a triumphant return to gymnastics in August – following a two-year hiatus from the sport.

In September, she revealed on the Today show that she wants to compete at the Games next summer in Paris, France – but admitted she ‘will have to take care of herself’ more than she did in Tokyo and is undergoing therapy to ‘make sure everything is aligned.’ 

During her appearance on Call her Daddy, Simone confessed that she was nervous that something similar to what happened at the Tokyo games may happen again at in Paris.

She recalled asking her therapist, ‘Look, it’s Olympic year, did we figure out why that happened? Are we sure?’

‘It wasn’t just the twisties, it was compressing all of this s**t for so many years, it just unfolded,’ she added. ‘You can’t compress trauma … I held a lot of guilt that wasn’t mine to hold.’

While reflecting on her mental health journey, the gymnast explained that because she was always described as so ‘strong,’ she felt like she could ‘never show any sign of weakness.’

‘I got to a point where it was so hard for me to cry or show emotion,’ she continued. ‘I didn’t want anyone to ever see me cry.’

Simone – who said she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety – explained that there were ‘a lot of times’ she felt ‘so alone’ and like she ‘had the weight of the world on her shoulders.’

She said athletes are ‘so good’ at holding everything they’re feeling inside, adding, ‘For so long it worked. Until it didn’t anymore. And that’s what you saw at the Olympics. A big old spill.’

She added that she still has ‘good and bad days,’ but that the bad stuff that happened to her ‘doesn’t define her.’ 

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

Leave a Comment

asu asu asu asu asu asu asu asu asu asu asu asu asu asu asu

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t a14t