Simone Biles reflects on Olympic struggle in Gold Over America Tour segment

Simone Biles

Straight off the back of a successful Olympic Games in Tokyo, Team USA Gymnastics have launched the Gold Over America Tour.

Headlined by Simone Biles, the tour kickstarted in Tucson, Arizona on Tuesday evening – with 34 more cities still to visit. 

Biles, who struggled with her mental health during the 2020 Games, has created a segment for the tour named 'Overwhelmed', which reflects on the darker side of competing at such a high level.

The 24-year-old is regarded as the best gymnast of all time. With 19 World Championships and four Olympic gold medals to her name, there's no question as to why she is lauded as such.

Even in Tokyo, many wouldn't have guessed Biles was struggling, considering she still came away with a silver medal in the team all-round final and bronze in the individual balance beam.

However, the Ohio-born star made sure she was not silent during the Games. Biles was extremely open about how she was feeling and encouraged others to also speak out. 

Simone Biles

Speaking on her decision to integrate 'Overwhelmed' into the Gold Over America Tour, Biles said: "There’s a lot of entertainment, but I think we want to put some realness, some authenticity into it, some rawness, to know that we’re still human and we’re here to help everybody out there.

"It’s kind of like that anxiety, depression feel to it and it’s like trying to fight those battles and coming out stronger from it and then being happy again."

Biles pulled out of the team all-round final in Tokyo after suffering with the 'twisties' – a mental block experienced by gymnasts that warps all sense of spatial orientation when in the air. 

She also withdrew from the vault, floor, uneven bars, and all-round individual finals. 

Simone Biles

The gymnast received some backlash on social media over her decision, but these comments were quickly drowned out by the outpour of support.

Supporters and professionals alike applauded Biles for her strength to not just vocalise her situation, but to make her comeback, and even win a medal as well.

Simone Biles

"I feel like the piece is so beautiful," Biles continued. "So every time I start, I get a little emotional because it’s something that I did go through but I know that a lot of athletes and fans in the audience have gone through similar situations.

"To know that we can come out on top of this and we’re going to be OK, but also with this storyline it’s OK not to be OK, and it’s OK to speak up and it’s OK to ask for help."

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The Gold Over America Tour is hosting a showing almost every day in a different city. The tour runs until November 7th, where it will finish at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 

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