Four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles admitted she is “still scared to do gymnastics” in an honest interview on American talk show Today.
Biles appeared on the show to reveal she had been appointed chief impact officer of mental health and telemedicine app Cerebral. The 24-year-old has also become an investor in the company.
She had endured a tumultuous Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, withdrawing from five events with a case of the "twisties", a mental block sometimes suffered by gymnasts.
Biles courageously returned to competition to earn an Olympic bronze medal in the balance beam, and is now performing on her Gold Over America Tour.
But, the gymnastics star revealed she is still struggling.
"I don't twist [on tour],” she said. I do double lay half-outs, which is my signature move on the floor. That's never affected me. But everything else weighs so heavy, and I watch the girls do it, and it's not the same.
"But the twisting, once I got back, will come back. But I'm still scared to do gymnastics."
Biles grew emotional as she opened up on her battles.
"To do something that I’ve done forever and just not be able to do it because of everything I’ve gone through is really crazy because I love this sport so much," she said.
"It’s hard. I’m sorry. And I don’t think people understand the magnitude of what I go through, but for so many years to go through everything that I’ve gone through having a front, I’m proud of myself."
Biles disclosed she was prioritising her mental health on tour by seeing a therapist every week, and also credited Cerebral as a source of support.
"Getting the mental health therapy that I need has been really relieving for me, especially being on the road and on tour,” she said. "I'm happy to have such a great app to help out with that."
The American rose to prominence during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, when she earned four gold medals and a bronze. With a combined total of 32 Olympic and World Championship medals to her name, she is tied as the most decorated gymnast of all time.
In an emotional testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, Biles suggested her struggles at Tokyo 2020 could be attributed to the abuse inflicted on her by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.
In 2017, former USA Gymnastics team doctor Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison after he was accused of sexual abuse by more than 330 women and girls, including Biles.News Now - Sport News