Ever since the G.O.A.T. wrapped her last run at the Olympics, fans have been asking the same question: Will Simone Biles retire? Though she’s only 24, it wouldn’t be uncommon for a gymnast of her age to withdraw from the sport for good. But for now, Biles says she’s still “keeping the door open” on competing again.
Biles—who happens to be the most decorated gymnast of all time—ended her journey at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, August 3 after participating in the women’s balance beam final. Just days earlier, the Olympian withdrew from four events to focus on her mental health.
Biles explained at the time that the pressure of the games had affected her ability to perform her routines safely during practice, ultimately leading to her decision to withdraw in an effort to protect herself from injury.
But when she returned to the mat on Tuesday, Biles revealed to Today’s Hoda Kotb that she would be “happy” to compete one more time on the balance beam, according to Entertainment Tonight. And her comeback was worth the wait
“It just felt really amazing,” Biles told Kotb, as per ET. “I’m proud of myself for the way I pushed up and even learned that dismount that I haven’t done up in years and just put up a good set. That’s all I really wanted, I wasn’t expecting to walk away with a medal or anything. I just wanted to go out there, do it for myself and I did.”
That confidence clearly paid off, but it doesn’t mean that Biles still doesn’t have her doubts. The Olympian went on to describe the “overwhelming” feelings she experienced during this year’s Olympic games, telling Kotb, “It feels heavy. It’s like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and I’m very small, so I feel like at times it’s very overwhelming.
But whenever you get so overwhelmed and you have triggers, it’s like, I have to focus on my mental well-being and that’s what I did,” she said, referring to her decision to withdraw from several of her Olympic events. “It was hard, working five years for a dream and just having to give it up. It was not easy at all.”