Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles is reflecting on her recent controversial Olympics season. The 24-year-old decorated gymnast penned an emotional Instagram post looking back at recent events. Biles initially chose to not compete due to focusing on her mental and physical health but changed her mind later. Her initial decision sparked a backlash from sports fans, who considered Biles’ decision selfish.
Sharing a photo of two of her medals, a silver and a bronze for women’s balance beam, Biles is proud of sticking to her guns, writing, “Can’t believe it’s already been a month. Definitely not the way I planned the olympics going but I wouldn’t change anything for the world,” she said in part. “I’m proud of myself and the career I’ve had thus far. 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.”
She added: “For some of you that may be how you define me but keep talking because 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.”
Controversy with Biles began during the Tokyo Summer Olympics when Biles removed herself from the majority of finals in Japan to recover from the twisties, which according to People is “disorienting condition athletes can experience when they lose understanding of their air awareness, which puts them at risk of injury when they land.”
Biles stood by her decision, telling the outlet in a recent interview that she received an outpouring of support that ovewrhemled her: “Over the years, obviously, since I’ve been so dominant everybody supports the gymnastics and praised me for what I’ve done in the gym and not really outside. Then once I took a step back, I obviously was expecting to feel a lot of backlash and embarrassment. But it’s the complete opposite. That’s the first time I felt human. Besides Simone Biles, I was Simone, and people kind of respected that.”