As she went to Instagram to reflect on the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles once again fired back at the critics who continue to criticize her decision to pull out from a gymnastics event last month. In the social media post, which included photos of the silver and bronze medals she won at the Games, the world-renowned athlete noted she could care less about the naysayers.
“I can’t hear you over my 7 Olympic medals which tied me for the most decorated gymnast EVER as well as most decorated American gymnast,” she wrote.
As Blavity previously reported, Biles withdrew from the Olympic individual all-around competition last month after experiencing “the twisties.” She explained the phenomenon as not knowing where her body was while mid-air. Instead of moving forward with the event, the Olympian said she chose to focus on her mental health.
An avalanche of backlash then followed, with some labeling the young star a quitter. Biles, however, remained undeterred.
“I’m proud of myself and the career I’ve had thus far,” the gymnast wrote. “This Olympics doesn’t erase the past accomplishments I’ve achieved nor does it define who I am as an athlete. I’ve pushed through so much the past couple years, the word quitter is not in my vocabulary.”
The 24-year-old gymnast proved her resilience last month when she returned to competition and won the bronze medal in the balance beam individual final. Although she didn’t get the gold she’s accustomed to, Biles said she doesn’t regret anything about her performance.
“Definitely not the way I planned the Olympics going but I wouldn’t change anything for the world,” the star athlete wrote.
Speaking to reporters last month, she said it wasn’t an easy decision to withdraw from the finals. Still, she was happy with her decision.
“People just thought it was easy, but I physically and mentally was not in the right headspace, and I didn’t want to jeopardize my health and my safety because at the end of the day, it’s not worth it,” the Columbus, Ohio, native said.
The four-time Olympic gold medalist added that her mental and physical health takes precedence over medals.
“So to be clear, to do beam, which I didn’t think I was going to be, just meant the world to be back out there,” the gymnast said. “And I wasn’t expecting to walk away with the medal. I was just going out there doing this for me.”