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“Don’t Know How Much Else I Can Survive”: Simone Biles Reveals the Truth Behind Botched Vault Move at the Tokyo Olympics

Radha Iyer

“Don’t Know How Much Else I Can Survive”: Simone Biles Reveals the Truth Behind Botched Vault Move at the Tokyo Olympics

For years, Simone Biles has witnessed many ups and downs in her career ever since the Tokyo Olympics took place. Fans have always been supportive of her for standing up for herself. Yet, she didn’t get through without hearing criticism against her decision to quit the Olympics midway. This year, she opened up to several media houses on her reasons and current state of mind as the Paris Olympics draws near. In particular, she recently had a candid chat with podcast host Alex Cooper about what exactly went wrong at the troublesome moment that forced her to quit.

Biles has never shied away from talking about her mental health struggles and the pressures surrounding being a national-level gymnast. This is why when she chose to walk away, she did so with her head up high and for valid reasons. Speaking on the podcast ‘Call Her Daddy’, she admitted that the decision came during the gravest of times.

She opened up about how her vault went so wrong that all gymnasts across the globe feared for her well-being. Yet, Biles sadly confessed that even during that tense moment, she felt the eyes of the public on her. She was worried about judgment and criticism both online and offline.

Twisties – the main reason she attributed her mishap, is a disconnect between the brain and the body. It occurs while gymnasts perform their tricks, and affects them mid-air. Biles had endangered her life by attempting the trick since she could’ve severely injured herself.

“I go to tell my coach and I said ‘I’m done. I’m not doing anymore, because if I survive that I don’t know how much else I can survive.’ Like I always say I’m a cat with nine lives but I think that was my ninth. I’m done.”

After the botched vault move, she recalled how the team quickly decided to get Jordan Chiles to replace her. However, amidst her team freaking out about losing a veteran athlete and all the cameras glued to them, she admitted that she felt the guilt of giving up on her team to date.

“I think it was really hard on them, so that’s something that I’ll never forgive myself for…that whole entire experience…”

Another fact the star gymnast highlighted was how winning a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, even with her walking away, wouldn’t have been possible if she had injured herself. Biles was on the roster at every event, and had she been ruled out due to an injury, it would be a “two up to count.” Yet, the feeling of disappointment didn’t subside until she sought help.

Simone Biles once admitted how the Tokyo Olympics incident “stung a little bit”

The two-year hiatus post-Tokyo Olympics was anything but smooth for Biles, who already struggled with the immense pressure mentally. In an interview with Vanity Fair, she confessed how things grew “depressing” after 2020.

“Every time I talked about my experience in Tokyo—because it obviously didn’t go the way that I had planned—it stung a little bit.”

Things became better to deal with only when she began seeking therapy. She grew stronger, and, after all these years, she finally returned to the International stage.

Post Edited By:Brandon Gabriel Isaacs

About the author

Radha Iyer

Radha Iyer


Radha Iyer is a US Sports writer at The SportsRush. With a Master's degree in Media and Communication, and a background in content creation and production, sports journalism has been a part and parcel of her demonstrated history in the said field. Olympic sports hold a special place in her heart, and she is particularly interested in sports like track and field, gymnastics, and swimming. She also draws inspiration from legendary athletes like Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Simone Biles, and many more.

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