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Simone Biles admits she may not compete at 2021 Olympics in Tokyo

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

18:51 2 Apr 2020

Simone Biles - the most decorated American female gymnast of all time - says she may not compete at next summer's deferred Olympic Games. 

The 23-year old won 4 gold medals and a bronze as part of the stellar United States team that competed at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Biles has also won a whopping 25 medals at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, but has told The New York Times that the re-arranged Olympics may come a year too late for her.

The International Olympic Committee made the decision last week to postpone the games for the first time in their history, and have penciled them in for July 23 in the Japanese capital next year.

But in conversation with Juliet Macur, Biles declared, "I’m still taking it day by day to see if I’ll continue or what’s going to happen."

The road between Rio and Tokyo has been the most difficult Biles has ever endured.

In 2018, she revealed she was among the 200 women and girls that had been abused by former US National Team doctor Larry Nassar who was handed a sentence of 175 years for his crimes.

Biles told Macur that she'd been looking forward to ending her career this year in Tokyo, adding, "Mentally, I don’t know if I can handle it.

"It’s going to be hard. I was already battling with myself mentally if I could do it this year."

Earlier this week, Biles told NBC's Today Show that she was still continuing to train, albeit alone due to the COVID-19 shutdown, "I'm in contact through text and FaceTime with my coaches so we can figure out what the right decision, our plan moving forward for the next year.

"But we're doing more body work: so abs, arms, legs."

However, Biles says the decision to defer the Olympics brought her to tears, "I really didn't know what to feel. I just kind of sat there and I cried but ultimately it was the right decision...we need to make sure everyone in the US and around the world is healthy and safe."

But as she told Juliet Macur in an exasperated tone, waiting another year means "Another year of dealing with U.S.A.G."

Biles' frustrations with USA Gymnastics stem from their reaction to the Nassar case.

"How about you amaze me and do the right thing... have an independent investigation", was her response to a 'happy birthday' tweet from U.S.A.G.

She's been critical of U.S.A.G's proposed $215million settlement with Nassar's survivors.

A US congressional report published in 2019 and following an 18-month investigation found that he FBI, U.S.A.G, the US Olympic Committee and Michigan State all had the chance to stop Nassar's abuse, but failed to do so.

Biles says she will make a decision on her Olympic participation at her own speed, and of her own accord.

"I was never doing it for them anyway,” she says of perceived pressure from sponsors like Nike and Visa, "I’m just playing it by ear.

"I have to listen to my mind and body and go into the gym and see how I feel."

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Read more about

Gymnastics Larry Nassar Olympic Games Olympics Rio 2016 Simone Biles Tokyo 2020 Tokyo 2021 USAG

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