Simone Biles reveals family tragedy after Olympic bronze victory 2 months ago

Simone Biles reveals family tragedy after Olympic bronze victory

She made a return to the games on Tuesday, winning bronze in the beam final.

Simone Biles has revealed the family tragedy that she has been dealing with in recent days, along with her mental health struggles.

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Biles withdrew from the first four of her finals at the games this summer, revealing that she was struggling the the "twisties" and needed to focus on her mental health.

However she competed in the beam final, matching the bronze she won in Rio five years ago, in what was an emotional return in Tokyo.

The 24-year-old has now revealed that along with her mental health battle, she has also been dealing with the recent death of her aunt.

She told reporters: "It wasn't easy pulling out of all those competitions.

"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.

"My mental and physical health is above all medals that I could ever win. 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. And I wasn’t expecting to walk away with the medal. I was just going out there doing this for me."

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Related links: 

Simone Biles wins bronze in women’s beam final

How Simone Biles showed us all how to prioritise our mental health

Simone Biles points to historic abuse from coach in retweet attacking critics

The gymnast told reporters that, whilst she was in Tokyo, she got the news that her aunt on her father's side "unexpectedly passed."

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Speaking about the moment Biles heard the news, her coach Cecile Canqueteau-Landi told People: "That was another one, I was like, ‘Oh my God. This week needs to be over.'

"I asked her what do you need. And she said, 'I just need some time.' I said, 'You call me, text me if you need anything I'll be here. Whatever that is.'

"She called her parents. She said, 'There's nothing I can do from over here. So I'm just going to finish my week and when I get home we'll deal with it.'"

A useful reminder for those who need it that we never truly know what is going behind the scenes, and the struggles that others may be going through.

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