Olympian and world's greatest gymnast Simone Biles revealed that her aunt unexpectedly passed away 2 days before she won the bronze medal in the Tokyo balance beam final.
The twenty-four-year-old athlete received her 1st medal at the Tokyo Games after withdrawing from the previous individual finals due to mental health concerns and a loss of air awareness known as the "twisties."
Cecile Canqueteau-Landi, Biles' coach, opened up about the personal hardship Biles has been dealing with. "I was like, 'Oh, my God. This week needs to be over,' I asked Simone what do you need. And she just said, 'I just need some time.'
"I said, 'you call me, text me if you need anything, I'll be here. Whatever that is.' She called her parents. She said, 'There's nothing I can do from over here. So I'm just going to finish my week, and when I get home, we'll deal with it.' "
Biles is also openly talking about therapy after her experiences this year.
"I think she needs a good break," Cecile said. "We're going to go back to work, but I'm happy for her that she gets to go back to her family, her boyfriend, her dog. She's just going to go home and enjoy."
And the gymnast has really stepped up to make people aware just how important mental health is, even speaking in a statement about it: "My mental and physical health is above all the medals that I could ever win."
"I have to put my pride aside. I have to do what's right for me and focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being. That's why I decided to take a step back," said Biles, stating her reason for dropping out of the individual events she qualified for.
The Olympic star has also recently realized that she's more than her sport, expressing that she's not just "entertainment."
"I'm more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before," she said on an Instagram post.
"Not at all how I imagined or dreamed my second Olympics would go but blessed to represent the USA. I'll forever cherish this unique Olympic experience. thanks, everyone for the endless love and support. I'm truly grateful. Leaving Tokyo with 2 more Olympic medals to add to my collection isn't too shabby! 7-time Olympic medalist," she said on another post.
Biles' may have faced an incredibly difficult experience but she has certainly done the world proud.