Why Simone Biles Said She Should Have Quit Gymnastics A Long Time Ago

Athletics can be an emotional space. Add in the pressure of international competition and Dr. Larry Nassar's sexual abuse cover-up and it can become almost unbearable. Gold medalist, Simone Biles, recently spoke with The Cut about her experience with USA Gymnastics, the 2020 Tokyo games, and her decision to step away mid-competition.

When discussing her experience during the Olympics, she explains her subsequent conflicting emotions over exiting Team USA. "Sometimes it's like, yeah, I'm perfectly okay with it," Biles said. "Like, that's how it works. That's how it panned out. And then other times I'll just start bawling in the house."

However, there was much more going on behind the scenes than what the fans saw at home. The outlet notes that on day five of the gymnastics competition, Biles found herself in a scary position after pushing off of the vault wrong. The second she landed back on the mat, she put her warm-up on and headed into the locker room. It would end up being her final appearance at the games. "My perspective has never changed so quickly from wanting to be on a podium to wanting to be able to go home, by myself, without any crutches," Biles explained.

In addition to being considered the greatest gymnast of all time, Simone Biles endured sexual abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar — and has been quick to condemn USA Gymnastics for knowing about the issue only to let it continue. 

Simone Biles said that she didn't feel ready to compete at the 2020 Olympics

With so much pressure and the pain of bringing allegations forward against Larry Nassar, it had been a difficult road to the podium for Simone Biles. "If you looked at everything I've gone through for the past seven years, I should have never made another Olympic team," she told The Cut. "I should have quit way before Tokyo, when Larry Nassar was in the media for two years. It was too much. But I was not going to let him take something I've worked for since I was 6 years old. I wasn't going to let him take that joy away from me. So I pushed past that for as long as my mind and my body would let me."

Prior to the games, Biles shared part of her story and training regimen with cameras for the "Simone vs. Herself" documentary, according to ABC. The series came out before the games on Facebook Watch, and now, the final two episodes that cover the Olympics are set to air in September 2021. Fans will get a behind-the-scenes look at the gymnast's experience before she dropped out.

After having gone through so much and continuing to compete, Biles has inspired people all over the world. As she moves on from USA Gymnastics, she can settle into her new life being the star she is.