Olympic gymnast Simone Biles bares all in the latest edition of Glamour magazine and she looks absolutely stunning.
But regardless of her seemingly glowing happiness on the cover of the magazine, the gymnast opened up and admitted that the pandemic had a negative impact on her mental health in an exclusive interview.
When the Olympics were canceled and her gym closed, she thought about quitting but thankfully since then, she has taken a step back and looked at her priorities.
“Before I would only focus on the gym,” she said, “But me being happy outside the gym is just as important as me being happy and doing well in the gym. Now it’s like everything’s coming together.”
Despite winning twenty-five World Championship medals and being the greatest gymnast of all time, the twenty-four-year-old admitted that over the last year she suffered from depression and “wanted to give up.”
Since hitting a low, she has been focusing on therapy and finding joy outside the gym.
Thanks to her new self-care regime, Biles finally feels like “everything’s coming together,” and she is more than ready for the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
After figuring out what makes her happy, she tried to pick up a new hobby but it didn’t exactly go as planned…
“I feel like everybody was painting or knitting or doing something cool in quarantine, so I was like, ‘I’m going to learn how to do my makeup, my hair, and my nails,'” she admitted.
“I almost ruined my nails, so that is no longer permitted. I’ve definitely gotten better at doing my hair, but clearly, I’m not gifted in that department. I’m just really trying to find who I am.”
But the most important thing for Biles was therapy.
She admitted that it was difficult and she didn’t feel like she needed to be there, but once her therapist convinced her that therapy isn’t for “crazy” people, she opened up.
“I thought I could figure it out on my own, but that’s sometimes not the case,” she said, “And that’s not something you should feel guilty or ashamed of. Once I got over that fact, I actually enjoyed it and looked forward to going to therapy. It’s a safe space.”
Biles also spoke candidly about the steps she takes to combat burnout and injury as she prepares for the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“I do regular athletic massages and ice massages. I also use compression boots and take Epsom-salt baths,” she explained, “And I see my athletic doctor every Friday for a check-in.”
As well as the physical part of therapy, she also opened up about how talking is helping her cope with past trauma and pressure from the sport.
“For a while, I saw a psychologist once every 2 weeks and that helped me get in tune with myself so that I felt more comfortable and less anxious.”
Biles was one of over 150 women who was sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nasser, with the abuse spanning over thirty years.
But Biles is now the most decorated American gymnast ever, which makes her even more motivated to push her boundaries.
When asked what advice she’d give her younger self, she said: “To not be so stubborn and to be a little bit happier — to know that it’s not over just because something happens in one day. You can keep pushing.”
Last week, she claimed her 7th title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships.