Simone Biles opens up on heartache of Aunt dying days before Tokyo 2020 bronze medal

Tokyo 2020 round-up: Biles wins bronze on return to action

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US gymnast returned to the arena to take a bronze medal in the beam yesterday and afterwards she revealed her Aunt had died two days prior. Biles has been the centre of attention in Tokyo after pulling out of a lot of the individual events due to struggles with her mental health.

She has been praised by many of her peers for being so honest about her struggles.

Biles winning bronze on the beam was a brilliant way for her to end a challenging Olympics in which she has made a huge impact.

“I woke up the other day and my aunt had unexpectedly passed and I’m like, you guys have no idea what we’re going through,” the gymnast told reporters after the competition.

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“It wasn’t easy pulling out of those competitions, but physically and mentally I wasn’t in the right head-space and I didn’t want to jeopardise my health and my safety, because at the end of the day it’s not worth it.

“My physical and mental health is above all medals I could win.

“To be cleared to do beam – which I didn’t think I was going to be – meant the world. Just to be back out here.

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“I wasn’t expecting to walk away with a medal. I was out there doing this for me and whatever happens, happens.”

Biles is pleased to have got through Tokyo but admits she has a lot of work still to do to get back to where she wants to be.

“It’s been a long week,” she said. “At least I’ve ended it on a high and I’ll deal with everything else when I get back.”

Biles’ coach Cecile Canqueteau-Landi praised the gymnast for her honesty and attitude in dealing with her mental health struggles.

“We’ve had a lot of tears combined because as much as we’re happy for Team USA, in the back, it was a little heartbreaking to know that she could’ve been out there and she could’ve, hopefully, earned some medals as well,” she explained.

“But, she was the best cheerleader.

“She wanted to be here, she wasn’t forced. That was her own will to be here and she was really proud of all of them.”

Biles has been widely praised for her honesty on her mental health struggles by her fellow athletes.

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