- Simone, 26, made a triumphant return to the sport last month at the US Classic
- She’s now hinted that she’s headed to the Games next summer in Paris, France
- The gymnast said on the Today show: ‘That’s the path I would love to go [on]’
Simone Biles has confirmed that she wants to compete in the 2024 Olympics – but admitted she ‘will have to take care of herself’ more than she did in Tokyo and is undergoing therapy to ‘make sure everything is aligned’ after she suffered from mental health issues that saw her forced to withdraw from multiple events at the 2020 Games.
The gymnast, 26, made a triumphant return to the sport last month – following a two-year hiatus.
When host Hoda Kotb asked Simone if she should place a bet on her competing at the event, the athlete said coyly, ‘Right now, I would say that’s the path I would love to go [on], so I wouldn’t mind if you put it in the “yay” section.’
‘She’s going to Paris,’ Craig Melvin replied excitedly, as Simone grinned.
The seven-time Olympic medalist stunned everyone after she announced midway through the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021 that she would not be partaking in four out of five event finals.
At the time, she said she was suffering from something called ‘the twisties’ – a mental block that causes gymnasts to feel like they are ‘lost in the air.’
She later hinted that it also had to due with the sexual abuse she had suffered at the hands of pedophile doctor Larry Nassar.
She was one of more than 150 gymnasts who were abused by Larry, the former national team doctor, during his 30-year career, and in 2019, she revealed that the trauma of the assaults had left her struggling with suicidal thoughts.
This time around, she vowed to ‘take care of herself a little bit more and listen to her body.’
‘I have to take care of myself a little bit more and listen to my body and make sure that I’m making time for the important things in my life, rather than before, it was just go, go, go, and then making time after,’ she explained on Today.
‘This time around, it’s being intentional, going to therapy, and making sure everything is aligned so that I can do the best in the gym and be a good wife, good daughter, good friend and all of the good things.’
She added that she’s going to be ‘a little bit more cautious about how she does things,’ adding, ‘I’m making sure my mental and physical [states] are both intact. It’ll be different but it’ll be good.’
Simone recently walked down the aisle with NFL star Jonathan Owens. The two, who started dating in 2020, married in Texas in April surrounded by their closest friends and family members.
Jonathan recently started his football season for the Green Bay Packers in Wisconsin, while Simone is training in Texas.
And while having a long-distance relationship isn’t easy, Simone told Today that they’ve made it work.
‘We’re both busy but focusing on our respective sports. It’s been nice and we cherish the moments we have together,’ she gushed.
A source told DailyMail.com in June that it was Jonathan who convinced Simone to return to gymnastics.
‘What a difference love can do. Simone’s identity in gymnastics has been her life and now that her personal life is in such a great place, she’s looking to lean back into her professional life as she wants to do what she excels at while she still has the time and ability to do it,’ they explained.
‘And this return will clearly have people’s minds racing to see if she would then return to the Olympics, but currently, for her, it is one step at a time, she wants to train hard, continue excelling and get to the right frame of mind because if she were to do the Olympics again, it would be to get gold.
‘She doesn’t want to half-a** anything and she wants only the best. Her husband Jonathan has really been her personal champion and has been the one to tell her to get back into it.
‘He knows she would be incredible and he knows she has missed it. If and when this upcoming competition goes as well as she expects, she would be more prone to go full force and would highly consider the Olympics and do what she needs to do to get there.
‘It will be a process, but she is trusting the process and knows that everything that needs to work out, will.’
Simone competed at the US Classic in Illinois in early August, where she took the All-Around, Balance Beam and Floor Exercise titles. A few weeks later, she won her eight US Championship all-around.
While reflecting on her comeback, the gymnast said she’s ‘feeling really good’ and that it came down to her ‘trusting’ her ‘coach, teammates, and herself most importantly.’
‘There were times I came in the gym and I was like, no this isn’t gonna work,’ she admitted on Today.
‘But then I’d give it another day. Just showing up and putting that work and effort in came into play.
‘As long as I showed up another day and kept putting that work in, [the fears] went down and dwindled.
‘Right now, I still sometimes doubt myself but I’m still doing my therapy and making sure everything’s aligned.’