Simone Biles is sharing her thoughts on the recent postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics. On Monday, March 30, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the Summer Games will be pushed back a year and run from July 23 through Aug. 8, 2021, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Considering this is only the fourth time in modern history the IOC has changed the timing of the Olympic games, athletes are figuring out how to adjust. Simone Biles' reaction to the 2020 Olympics postponement expressed her disappointment with the news, but she's still looking to the future of the games.
On Wednesday, April 1, the United States' most decorated gymnast admitted she initially shed some tears when she learned the 2020 Tokyo Olympics had been postponed. During an interview on NBC News' Today, Biles recalled her mixed feelings when she got a text with the news while she was training at the gym. She shared, "I didn't really know what to feel. I just kind of sat there. I cried...."
Despite the initial disappointment, the athlete knows it's for the best. "...Ultimately it was the right decision. We need to make sure everyone in the U.S. and around the world is healthy and safe. It was hard, but it's okay."
Biles said one of the biggest concerns she and her fellow Olympic competitors have is training for a year longer than planned, and the mental and physical strain it will cause. The gold medalist plans to stay in touch with her coaches for virtual training, but Biles is also aware she needs to tend to her mental health as well.
She told the network:
Physically, I have no doubts that my coaches will get me back in shape, but mentally going another year, I think that is what's going to take the toll on me and all of us and most of the athletes. We have to stay in shape mentally just as much as physically. That will play a big factor moving forward, listening to your body and your mind.
As Biles waits out the postponement, the Olympian is doing her best to stay in competition-ready shape with the help of at-home conditioning workouts and even a "twerkout" YouTube video. "I'm also walking my dog a lot more," Biles said. "Just trying to stay healthy and in shape before we can return to the gym and start the training process again."
Biles took home four gold medals and a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, so she's no stranger to succeeding at the highest level. Unfortunately, she'll have to wait another year to go for (more) gold in Tokyo — but it sounds like she's ready for the challenge.
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