A while back and for a pre-2020 Summer Olympics interview with NBC’s Today Show, superstar athlete and human being Simone Biles told Hoda Kotb that she wanted to compete this year, in part, so people would not forget the horrific crimes of Larry Nassar.
Speaking to Kotb again Wednesday, Biles confirms this. “I knew that still being the face of gymnastics and the USA and everything we brought, it’s not going to be buried under the rug, and it will still be a very big conversation,” she says.
But it wasn’t easy. It never will be. In the same interview, the gymnast, now 24-years-old, reveals that her horrific abuse at the hands of Nassar did affect her mental health for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
“Now that I think about it… In the back of my head, probably, yes, because there are certain triggers. You don’t even know, and I think it could have,” Biles offers.
With this, Biles lends further credence to her backing out of last week’s team gymnastics competition. At the time, she cited mental health issues, a concern the sports industry – and culture at large – still struggles to take seriously.
Yet Biles would still do her part for Team USA. Tuesday, she would return for the balance beam event – and win Bronze for America.
Simone Biles: ‘Sleeping Was Like the Closest Thing to Death’
Over 150 gymnasts, with nearly all being children and teens, would come forward as victims of Larry Nassar.
“It is not normal to receive any type of treatment from a trusted team physician and refer to it horrifyingly as the ‘special’ treatment,” Biles spoke of the abuse she received at Nassar’s hands in 2018, per TMZ.
Simone Biles would go on to become a 4-time-Gold-winning Olympian. But she carries the scars of Nassar’s abuse forever. In her Simone vs Herself Facebook series, the star athlete says she would constantly sleep because it was “better than offing” herself.
“It was my way to escape reality. Sleeping was like the closest thing to death for me at that point, so I just slept all the time,” she reveals, tragically.
Congruently, fellow Team USA gymnast alum Mckayla Maroney is speaking out against the Olympic Committee this week in an attempt to keep further minors and athletes from harm.
Maroney’s testimony paints a horrific, vivid picture of what these women endured throughout their Olympic childhoods.
“So, @USAGym and USOC aka @TeamUSA… When I was under “your care” in Tokyo competing for Team USA at 15, and my parents weren’t allowed to stay in my hotel, or see me in person… When I was all alone, naked, with Larry Nassar on top of me for 50min balling. Who’s fault is that?” asks Maroney via Twitter August 1.
For far more on her testimonial, and how it backs up Simone Biles‘, continue on to our McKayla Maroney Claims Larry Nassar Lied About State of Her Injuries at 2012 Olympic Games next.
And if you or anyone you know struggles with suicidal thoughts, depression, or both, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available 24/7, for help.