2020 Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles and Taylor Swift Exchange Heartfelt Messages Ahead of the Gymnast’s Return

by Samantha Whidden

Hours before winning the bronze medal during the balance beam event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles took to Twitter to gush about her Taylor Swift-narrated hype video. 

“I’m crying,” the 2020 Tokyo Olympic athlete tweets. “How special. I love you @taylorswift13”

The pop icon responded to the bronze medalist by tweeting, “I cried watching YOU. I feel so lucky to have gotten to watch you all these years, but this week was a lesson in emotional intelligence and resilience. We all learned from you. Thank you.”

Biles’ Journey at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

At the beginning of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Biles performed for all the all-around events during the qualifications and helped the U.S. gymnastics team qualify for the team final. The Olympian, unfortunately, struggled after her vault performance which caused her to struggle with twisties. She eventually withdrew from all the team and most of the independent events. 

On Tuesday, she won the bronze medal during the independent balance beam event.  Speaking about her performance medal, Biles told TODAY, “It means more than all the golds because I’ve pushed through so m much the last five years, and the last week I’ve even been here.”

The Olympian also says it was a very emotional performance and she was very proud of herself and just all the girls competing. “I didn’t really care about the outcome. I was just happy that I made the routine and that I got to compete one more time.”

Biles also admits that the experience at this year’s Games has been a “whirlwind.” She states, “I don’t get to like embrace it yet, but I’m just proud I could go out there and compete one more time before the Olympics was over.”

Biles Addresses Mental Health Issues at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics 

While also chatting with TODAY, Biles discusses her struggles with mental health during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “The girls saw me in training. My coaches saw me in training. I physically couldn’t do it safely,” Biles recalls. And it’s because I was getting so lost in the air.”

Biles explains that her teammates were also terrified for her before the team finales. “At the end of the day, we’re not just athletes or entertainment. We’re humans too. And we have real emotions and sometimes [fans] don’t realize that we have things going on behind the scenes that affect us whenever we go out and compete.”

In regards to her decision about withdrawing from the events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Biles says it wasn’t an easy decision at all for her. “It hurts that people are like, ‘Oh she quit.’ Because I’ve worked five years for that. Why would I quit? I’ve been through so much over the past couple years in the sport. I just don’t quit.”