January 29, 2023

Simone Biles earned the right to retire a long time ago. In a cover story for The Cut published Monday, Biles finally opened up about her decision to withdraw from the Olympic competition in a cover story for The Cut, a surprising move that sent shockwaves throughout the sports world. Most importantly, the story shows that her decision to quit gymnastics was directly linked to the trauma she went through because of Larry Nassar, who used to work for USA Gymnastics.

“Looking back at the last seven years, I should never have made another Olympic team,” Biles told the magazine. I should have quit much sooner than two years ago in Tokyo when Larry Nassar was in the media. It was overkill. But I wasn’t about to give up something I’d been working for since I was six. I wasn’t going to let him ruin my joy. So I pushed myself as far as my mind and body would allow.

The twisties, which cause a gymnast to lose all sense of space and endanger themselves, were the final straw for Biles’ mind and body early in the Tokyo Games.

Say you had perfect vision until the age of 30. In response to critics who accuse her of simply giving up at the Games, Biles says in the interview, “You wake up one morning, you can’t see shit, but people inspire you to carry on and do your everyday work as if you still have your eyes.” “Wouldn’t you be perplexed?”

Moving forward, Biles’ greatest battle will be as a human, not as an athlete—not with a physical experience, but with the terrible aftermath of being an abused survivor. “This is something I will most likely work on for the next 20 years,” she predicted. No matter how hard I try to forget. It is still being worked on. (During a Senate hearing on Nassar’s crimes last week, Biles gave emotional testimony.) These incredibly brave ideas change the way we look at both her decision to quit and the narrow expectations we have of famous athletes.

Moving forward, Biles’ greatest battle will be as a human, not as an athlete—not with a physical experience, but with the terrible aftermath of being an abused survivor. “This is something I will most likely work on for the next 20 years,” she predicted. No matter how hard I try to forget. It is still being worked on. (During a Senate hearing on Nassar’s crimes last week, Biles gave emotional testimony.) These incredibly brave ideas change the way we look at both her decision to quit and the narrow expectations we have of successful athletes in our culture.

Biles is scheduled to tour with Team USA but is “no longer training,” according to the report. Her main consideration seems to be her own well-being for the time being. It’s the least she deserves—and the least we should expect from her.

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