April 30, 2024

With 100 days until the Opening Ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, gymnastics superstar Simone Biles is speaking more candidly than ever about her experience at Tokyo 2020 in 2021.

“As soon as I land[ed my vault in team finals], I’m like [expletive]. I salute and I want to run. If I could have gotten on a plane and flown home, I would have done it,” Biles said on Call Her Daddy, the popular American podcast hosted by Alex Cooper. “Just as soon as I landed, I was like, ‘America hates me. The world is going to hate me, and I can only see what they’re saying on Twitter right now.’ That was my first thought.”

In the 90-minute interview, Biles, a seven-time Olympic medallist, reveals new details about her experience at her second Games where she withdrew from several finals as she dealt with a condition where the body and mind fall out of sync, referred to by gymnasts as the twisties.

“In the back [gym], we already knew my gymnastics was kind of janky,” says Biles. “In training, I was having the twisties already, but I’m trying to push past that. I would literally tell the team, my teammates, like, ‘I’m fighting demons. I’m fighting demons right now, but I’m going to do it for you guys.’ I literally felt like I was fighting my body and my mind to do these tricks.”

The Tokyo team silver and balance beam bronze medallist details her attempts to re-arrange her routines in order to avoid elements, such as her full-twisting double back off the balance beam.

“We were trying to do some different things in the back,” Biles recalled. “I’m like, ‘Okay, I can’t do a full-in off beam. Can I please go back to my double-double?’ which is way harder, but I know if I twist more, it’s better for me.”

Exclusive – Simone Biles on letting go, twisting again, and having no regrets: ‘What success means to me is different than before’

Exclusive – Simone Biles: “I came to the realization, I can still be a wife and be out here.”

Elevate your Paris 2024 experience! Join Olympic Membership for free livestream of the qualifiers, tailored updates & original series – register now!

Biles also speaks on her prior Olympic experience, calling her feeling ‘world peace’ during Rio 2016.

“In 2016, it was so much fun, the camaraderie, the team spirit, everybody’s rooting for everybody. I feel like that’s world peace. Time stops. Doesn’t matter what color you are, what religion you are, what you support, what you don’t support, everybody comes together to support their athletes and their country,” Biles said.

As what would be her third Olympic appearance nears, Biles still prefers to keep her goals to herself.

“If all goes well in training… yeah,” she says when Cooper asks if Paris is the goal.

No matter how the next 100 days go, Biles has bigger goals, bigger dreams: to use her celebrity and her voice for causes close to her heart.

“To be an advocate for anything that I’ve been outspoke about,” she says of what she hopes her legacy in sport will be. “Mental health, foster care, ADHD. But also just someone that gave it her all, never gave up.”

Biles is set to make her 2024 season debut next month at the U.S. Classic on 18 May.