Simone Biles might not be done on the beam just yet.
The champion gymnast, 25, spoke candidly about what’s next in her life and her career while being profiled as one of USA Today’s Women of the Year in an article published Monday.
During the conversation, the Olympian shared her personal goals, and whether they involved the continuation of her journey as a professional gymnast.
“Technically, if you would ask anybody in the U.S. that looks at an American gymnast, I’m probably already aged out, but I really feel like leading up to Tokyo, I was hitting my prime,” she explained. “Truly, I thought in 2016, at 19 years old, I had peaked. And whenever I came back to the sport, I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to get even better than I was because somebody told me that was the best I was going to get.’ ”
She continued, “You just have to push out those negative views and just keep pushing. I want to see how much I’m capable of, how talented I can be. And that’s why I came back, just to not have any regrets if I look back in 10 years. So now I can really say I have no regrets, but maybe I might push it a little bit more to see.”
Biles previously said in a Nov. 2021 interview with New York Magazine that the challenges she’s faced in the past few years “should have” been enough for her to walk away from the sport before the most recent Summer Olympics. Biles publicly revealed in 2018 that she was sexually abused by former doctor for USA Gymnastics (USAG) Larry Nassar. She’s since been candid about the effect the abuse has had on her mental health — especially amid her challenges during the Tokyo Games, when Biles developed the “twisties,” AKA a loss of air awareness that forced her to withdraw from most of her events.
“It was too much,” she said at the time. “But I was not going to let him take something I’ve worked for since I was 6 years old. I wasn’t going to let him take that joy away from me. So I pushed past that for as long as my mind and my body would let me.”
In the new USA Today interview, Biles talked about her experience in Japan and opening up about mental health struggles on an international stage.
“Honestly, last year was a crazy year,” she told the outlet. “But I think pushing mental health to the forefront was a huge thing. I honestly didn’t realize in that moment the impact that it would have. A couple months later, I have acknowledged everything that has happened. But it still blows my mind to know that it wasn’t spoken about before as much as it is now, and we’re not open about it and people don’t perceive it the same way as an injury.”
She added, “So I’m happy that we had that conversation and we can now talk about it.”
The athlete — who recently got engaged to boyfriend Jonathan Owens — said she’s had people online and in-person approach her about making those conversations less taboo.
“Now with mental health being a huge topic that we talk about basically on the daily now, they’re always telling me, ‘Thank you so much. You’ve done so much for me and my family, my friends. Now I’m going to go get help,’ ” she told USA Today. “So it really does mean a lot to me that a lot of people are now trying to get the help that they not only deserve but that they need.”