HOUSTON – These are strange days for all of us dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and that includes Olympic great Simone Biles. The Spring resident and owner of 30 career gold medals, is out of her comfort zone on all levels, with the current state of things.
Biles, like all athletes, is a creature of habit when it comes to training on a high level. For now, everything is on hold. Biles spoke with KPRC 2 Sports Director Randy McIlvoy via ZOOM Friday in her first local interview since the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed until the summer of 2021.
"Thought it was the safest bet. Deep down it crushes you as you have trained so long. You question can you go another year. At the end of the day it is what’s best for the world right now,” the champion gymnast said.
Biles, who shined in the 2016 Rio games, winning multiple gold medals including the All-Around, has dealt with all of the emotion since the news came down last week. Her last time in the gym was a week ago Thursday.
"It doesn't feel like real life. Our coaches go back to see how we can prepare for next year especially with my age and to get mentally and physically ready,” Biles added.
As for the 2021 timeframe now in place, Biles has a big decision to make. She is 23 and will be 24 by the time the games begin. While she’s young overall, in her sport the age of 24 is old. She’s contemplating whether she can be ready mentally and physically. Tokyo was 3 months away and now the new schedule has the games 15 months out.
“For me, I will be a year older and don’t know if I can stay on top of my game. I had prepared so well. It was really emotional. At end of the day that’s not what matters it’s keeping everyone safe and doing our part in the community,” Biles said.
“To break that routine is weird. It’s strange and I feel lost. Feel like a piece of me is missing. Doing at-home workouts to stay in shape. Hopefully, we can get back to the gym and on a normal schedule.”
Biles knows the right decision was made and she had a message of hope for her fans.
“You are not alone and we will get through this. It’s hard but keep an open mind and stay positive,” she said.