Simone Biles Admits She Didn't Expect to Receive the Support She Did Amid the Olympics (Exclusive)
By Mona Khalifeh
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Simone Biles is still feeling very blessed by the amount of love and support she's received since the 2021 Tokyo Olympics this summer. Biles spoke ET at the Gold Over America Tour, a.k.a "GOAT Tour," about life since making the difficult decision to withdraw herself from the team competition, the all-around and the majority of her individual events for her own mental health.
"Overwhelming amount of love and support of outreach of fans, family and it's just been insane," Biles admitted. "I've definitely taken that with like a grain of salt, because a lot of other things can shift and happen, so I'm just very blessed to still be in this position and to have so many people reaching out, showing love and respect for me. It shines a whole new light on the sport and ourselves as not just an athlete, but as a human."
"It just teaches you that it's okay, at the end of the day you are human. Stuff like this happens all the time, and they're gonna love and support you no matter what, and that's what they showed," she continued.
After coming down with a case of what gymnasts refer to as "the twisties," which causes them to lose their position in the air on complex jumps and can lead to devastating injury, Biles thought it safer to step aside and support her teammates from the sidelines.
"It can happen anytime, obviously I'm not twisting on tour so, can't happen, so thank God, but just depends," Biles said of "the twisties" that took her out of the competition. "It happens to a lot of gymnasts, divers, ice skaters, I guess golfers have something similar as well, but it just shows how much stress, anxiety and pressure that is put on us and we put on ourselves whenever we go out onto those global scenes."
Biles announced the tour -- independent from USA Gymnastics -- earlier this summer to celebrate female athletes.
The tour, which kicks off in Sept. 28, will feature Biles alongside other elite gymnasts, including Laurie Hernandez and Jordan Chiles.
"We have some of the best collegiate athletes here, some of the viral sensations. We also have Canada's best Ellie Black. We also have France's best Melanie dos Santos. We have Chellsie Memmel, everybody loves her, so we have some real GOATs on this tour and it's something you don't wanna miss," Biles said of the tour, which she tells ET has been in the works for two years now.
In addition to a hectic Olympic season and her upcoming tour, Biles testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month as part of a two-part hearing on the FBI's mishandling of the investigation into Nassar, who was found to have sexually abused scores of young athletes while working at Michigan State University and with USA Gymnastics.
Tune in to tonight's episode of Entertainment Tonight for more of ET's interview with Biles.