The 2020 Olympics will be her last, according to the most-decorated gymnast of all time. Simone Biles, who is only 22, has 21 World Championship medals, 15 of which are gold medals, making her a force to be reckoned with in the world of gymnastics.
Why is Simone Biles Retiring?
It might seem strange for such a talented and athletic woman to hang it up when she’s only 22 years old. However, Biles has solid reasoning for wanting to retire from gymnastics. “I definitely plan for the Tokyo Olympics to be my last,” she stated in an interview. “I feel like my body’s gone through a lot and it’s kind of just falling apart – not that you can actually tell but I really feel it a lot of the time.”
Biles is no stranger to the pain of performing at such a high level, though. “I am in pain most of the time but it kind of feels right because if you are not in pain, it is almost like you could be doing more.” No matter her reasoning behind retiring, she’s certainly had a decorated career, becoming one of the most successful gymnasts in history and certainly the most decorated.
Simone Biles on Other Olympic Events
Biles has landed in a bit of hot water over statements that some viewed as disparaging of other Olympic events. When asked how she felt about the rise in significance of events like skateboarding and surfing, she was hesitant to praise them.
“I think once you bring the fun into it you lose a little bit of the difficulty, so it’s not so possible,” the decorated gymnast began. “We are judging based on how fun it is and the creativity, but real, elite gymnastics is probably not the same.”
Biles has also been an outspoken defender of the victims of former US Gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar. Nassar’s misdeeds resulted in his conviction on multiple counts of abuse of children.
“I feel like since it happened in the US, the gymnastics world took a really hard hit,” Biles stated, before backpedaling slightly, adding, “But I feel like you hear horror stories in every other sport too. Besides the amount of people it affected, it happens in the everyday world.”