her first Olympic debut in 2016, Simone Biles has been a household name all across the country. She, along with hundreds of other athletes, were gearing up to partake in the 2020 Olympics, but due to Covid-19 The Games have been postponed until 2021. Biles recently opened up on TODAY to speak about her training for these games as well as racism and the very public abuse cases from former USA Gymnastic Doctor Larry Nassar.
23 year old gymnast Simone Biles is the most decorated female gymnast of all time being a four time Olympic Gold Medalist. She hoped to continue her success in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but her dreams were put on pause with the worldwide spread of the coronavirus. The Games have been rescheduled for 2021 in Tokyo. She told The TODAY Show that she has been continuing to “train as if” with the hopes of keeping her dream alive. She continued “training has been a little bit different,” with gymnasts’ schedules staggered and all staff wearing masks. The gyms are staggering their athletes’ practice times and allowing ample time for the mats and equipment to be cleaned in between athletes.
Biles then went to talk about her appearance on the cover of Vogue’s August issue where we also opened up about her experience with racism and Black Lives Matter. She recalled her first personal experience with racism to be in 2013 at the World Championships when the headlines reported on an Italian gymnast whom Biles beat saying “Maybe next time we’ll paint our skin black so we can win” rather than her victory. She continued to comment that most if not all athletes of color have experienced something similar to this in their life or career. Simone also spoke a bit on her mental health and her experience with former USA Gymnastic Doctor Larry Nassar. She stated that therapy has helped in her recovery from the trauma of being abused by Nassar. She continued to speak on how therapy was good for her stating, “now, I look forward to therapy because it’s a safe outlet for me, and I hope everyone feels comfortable and confident speaking out.” Nassar is sentenced to up to 175 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing 10 minors in 2018.
Biles is hopeful that her 2021 Olympic dreams will continue amidst all the craziness. We look forward to watching Simone, along with all the other athletes compete in Tokyo next summer!