Simone Biles shared the weekly habit that inspired her return to gymnastics

It’s official: Simone Biles is back on the competition track for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, but not without some mental preparation.

In June, a USA Gymnastics press release announced that the 26-year-old will compete in the 2023 US Classic in August alongside fellow Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee and 2020 Olympic floor champion Jade Carey, among other medalists. Biles confirmed the news On twitterwriting that she is “overwhelmed” by the fan support and “excited to be back”.

In honor of the announcement, Biles recently hosted an Instagram Story Q&A, according to People, and when asked by a fan how he was “handling the mental side” of his comeback, he answered honestly.

“Lots of therapy,” he allegedly wrote. “I go once a week for almost two hours. I’ve had a lot of trauma, so being able to work through some of the trauma and work on healing is a blessing.”

In the pandemic-postponed Tokyo games in 2021, Biles withdrew from the USA Gymnastics women’s team all-around final after making some weird mistakes in the qualifying round. Though she again won bronze on the balance beam, she later attributed her mistakes to a case of spinning, which occurs when an athlete’s mind and body become disconnected in midair, resulting in a potentially dangerous loss of muscle memory and spatial awareness, SELF previously reported. She also cited the need to focus on her mental health.

In a post-game interview with Today, Biles connected the severity of her spins to a long-standing repression of being sexually abused by former USA Gym doctor Larry Nassar. “Over the years, after bottled up so many emotions and put up a front on a global scene, I think all of that really came out,” she said. “My body and my mind allowed me to suppress all of those things for as many years as possible. And as soon as we entered the Olympics scene, she just decided that she couldn’t do it anymore and she just broke down.”

Since then, Biles has continued to speak candidly about her retirement and has become one of the leading advocates for mental health in professional sports. “It’s a challenge to talk about how you’re doing mentally, as it’s an invisible injury,” she said. Good Housekeeping last year. “People can’t see it, so it’s harder to understand, but I think that’s why it’s so important that we feel empowered to open up about it.”

In 2021, Biles admitted to Today that she was “still afraid” to do certain gymnastics moves, but therapy, time, and support from family, friends, and fans fueled her imminent return. In his question-and-answer session, he recalled discovering the sport on a field trip to daycare. “I fell in love instantly,” she wrote. “And I have ever since.”


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