Four-time Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles believes she should have “quit way before” this year’s Tokyo Games.
The 24-year-old American withdrew from five of her six finals in Japan to focus on her mental health.
Biles, who had been expected to add to the four gold medals she won at Rio 2016, spoke in 2018 about being abused by team doctor Larry Nassar, who is now serving a life sentence in jail.
“I should have quit way before Tokyo, when Larry Nassar was in the media for two years. It was too much,” she said in a new interview with New York Magazine.
“But I was not going to let him take something I’ve worked for since I was six years old,” she added in the interview, which was released on Monday.
Biles had been seeing a therapist in the run-up to the Olympics and said anxiety set in on her arrival in Tokyo.
In addition to mental health issues, she also experienced “the twisties” – a phenomenon which temporarily affects an athlete’s spatial awareness.
The 19-time world champion returned home from the rearranged Games with bronze in the balance beam, in addition to silver in the team competition.
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