Simone Biles Says She's 'Still Scared to Do Gymnastics' After the Tokyo Olympics

The 24-year-old withdrew from several Olympic events over the summer while struggling with the "twisties."

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Simone Biles may be months removed from this summer's Toyko Olympics, where she withdrew from several events to focus on her mental health, but her struggles with the "twisties," however, haven't gone away. (

In an emotional interview Thursday with TODAY, Biles revealed that since her bout with the "twisties," a phenomenon that can cause a gymnast to lose their sense of dimension and space while in the air, she has refrained from doing certain moves while performing on the Gold Over America tour, which also features gymnasts Jordan Chiles and Jade McCallum, among others.

"I don't twist, I do double lay half-outs, which is my signature move on the floor," said Biles on TODAY. She later added: "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."

Holding back tears, Biles added Thursday, "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, put on a front, I'm proud of myself." The seven-time Olympic medalist also addressed lingering struggles, noting, "The twisting once I got back will come back, but I'm still scared to do gymnastics." (

Although Biles did return to the Olympic stage in early August — nabbing the bronze medal in the balance beam final — she previously told New York Magazine that she should have pulled out of the Games ahead of time. "If you looked at everything I've gone through for the past seven years, I should have never made another Olympic team," said Biles. "I should have quit way before Tokyo, when [former Team USA Gymnastics doctor] Larry Nassar was in the media for two years. It was just too much."

Nassar pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct charges in 2017, according to NBC News. A year later, Biles said that she had been sexually abused by Nassar, who has been accused of molesting more than 130 patients, including fellow gymnasts Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney. He is currently serving up to 175 years in prison.

In the weeks following the Tokyo Olympics, Biles spoke to the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation, USA Gymnastics, and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee failed to end the abuse that she and others experienced at the hands of Nassar. "To go through something like that and to be a voice for all of the survivors and the people who want to come forward and talk about their stories, it's really inspiring," said Biles Thursday on Today. "But it's hard that I have to go through it, because again people form their own opinions and I don't really get to say what's going on."

With Biles currently on the road as the Gold Over America tour continues, she remains focused on prioritizing her mental well-being. "I love to take my daily walks, I think fresh air is really good for me, being outside, especially not having my friends and family close on the road," she said. (See: How Simone Biles Practices Self-Love Today and Every Day)

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