After U.S. Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles returned to competition for the balance beam final on Tuesday and won the bronze medal, she told NBC News, “I did it for me.”
“I was just happy to be able to perform regardless of the outcome. I did it for me and I was proud of myself for being able to compete one more time,” said Biles after the presentation ceremony.
Biles pulled out of the team competition July 27 to focus on her mental health, and later admitted that she was experiencing “the twisties” when in midair during parts of her routine that required her to twist. She also said competing may have “triggered” memories of the abuse she suffered under former team doctor Larry Nassar, who is now in prison for his crimes.
She was evaluated daily to see whether she could compete, but she was not medically cleared to compete in the vault, floor exercise or uneven bars–all of which require twisting. Her balance beam routine was modified to avoid twisting, which helped her to be medically cleared.
“Just to have one more opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games meant the world,” Biles explained. “Training for five years and then coming here, and then kind of being triggered and not being able to do anything, it wasn’t fun.”
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