The champion gymnast spoke with author Brené Brown as part of the Simmons Leadership Conference on
Simone Biles faced criticism after pulling out of multiple events at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health last summer. But the American gymnast and four-time Olympic gold medalist says that she sees making that choice as a victory.
“Walking away from the Olympic Games was a win in itself. I know a lot of people thought I failed because they expected me to go out with five or six medals, but walking out of it was my biggest win,” Biles said on Wednesday at the 43rd annual Simmons Leadership Conference, in conversation with Brené Brown. “I had to put myself into consideration for one of the first times throughout my career. Most of the time, I’ve always put myself on the back burner, because I’ve always cared and thought about everybody else before myself.”
She continued, “I was like, ‘You know what? I have to do what’s best for me, what’s safe, and what’s healthy for me.’ ”
RELATED: Simone Biles on Future of Her Gymnastics Career: ‘I Might Push It a Little Bit More’
Biles said she considered pushing forward and competing despite grappling with the twisties, a disorienting condition that causes gymnasts to lose air awareness, but determined that ultimately, it would be a selfish decision.
“That would be so selfish of me to put the team’s medal contention in jeopardy, put myself in jeopardy,” said Biles, who admitted her “mind and body were not in sync” when she pulled out of the gymnastics team competition mid-event. “I had to be like, ‘Simone, it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world, it’s just sports. If you walk away from this and you still are walking, that’s a win in your book.’ ”
Simone Biles | CREDIT: TIM CLAYTON/CORBIS VIA GETTY IMAGES
Now, she asserts that her decision was “probably the most courageous I’ve ever been.”
“I had worked for five years and I didn’t want to let that dream go. I had to put myself first, listen to my mind and body, what my heart was telling me to do,” Biles recalled. “I had to put my pride aside and say, ‘Okay, this isn’t going to work.’ ”
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Biles ultimately removed herself from four out of five event finals but won the bronze in the balance beam, and still earned the silver with Team USA.
The athlete recounted noticing things were off when she and her teammates arrived in Tokyo, calling the experience “very lonely.” The restrictions of the pandemic had put a hamper on the traditional Olympic experience, she said during the leadership conference.
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“We go over to Tokyo and no audience is allowed, we’re quarantined in our rooms, and can only come out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everyone expected us to perform in a certain manner. There was no camaraderie, and my parents weren’t able to go there,” Biles remembered. “My parents haven’t missed a competition in my life.”
She added, “For the world to expect some of these athletes to go above and beyond when we’re all going through the same thing and trying to survive a pandemic was really strange for me mentally.”
After the Olympics, Biles had to face critique from the general public. That was a challenge, particularly on social media. But Biles said during the chat with Brown that she chose to disregard “all of that,” and now finds strength in being vulnerable.
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To her surprise, people began coming up to her on the street and congratulated her for making the choice to withdraw , saying she changed their lives.
“I would be so confused,” Biles said. ” ‘You guys I didn’t complete, why are you congratulating me?’ ”
These days, Biles has a thorough self-care practice to stay on an even keel. She relies on weekly therapy sessions to “get out of my own head,” and enjoys writing in a journal or talking to herself in front of the mirror. Still, negative self-talk can get in the way.
“I’ve struggled with that growing up and to this day. Everybody’s going to tell you you’re good enough. My strength is I like proving people wrong and going above and beyond,” she said during the panel. “That’s what I like to do.”
Elon Musk and Grimes’ Relationship Timeline: The Way They Were
A roller coaster romance. Elon Musk and Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, were first linked in May 2018 and have since welcomed a son together.
The couple made their red carpet debut in May 2018, shortly after reports surfaced of their relationship. However, it has not always been smooth sailing for the businessman and the singer. They weathered split rumors and a very public feud with Azealia Banks in August 2018 before reuniting.
Fans speculated about their status for months, as the pair continued to be spotted together everywhere from the Kardashian-Jenner family Christmas party to China.
Musk and Grimes seemingly confirmed they were back on when she announced in January 2020 that she was pregnant. Though she did not caption her Instagram photo that showed off her baby bump, she referred to herself as “knocked up” in the comments section.
Nearly two months later, the Canada native revealed in a Rolling Stone profile that the Tesla CEO was the father of her child. She opened up in the interview about the impact of their relationship on her career. “No one believes me about this, but I just did not understand what I was getting into at all,” she explained. “Not that I’m mad about it. I just didn’t think it would be a thing. The s–t that’s happened with my boyfriend this year has overwritten so much of my life’s work.”
Grimes described her pregnancy as a major decision, made in part because of her trust in Musk. “For a girl, it’s sacrificing your body and your freedom. It’s a pretty crazy sacrifice and only half of the population has to do it. It was really profound to me when I decided I was going to do it, to actually go through the act of like, y’know, unprotected sex,” she admitted. “I’m just like, ‘I have sacrificed my power in this moment. I have, like, capitulated.’ And I have spent my whole life avoiding that situation. I have never capitulated to anything, so it was just a profound commitment.”
She added: “I do actually just really love my boyfriend. So I was like, ‘You know, sure.’”
In September 2021, the businessman told Page Six, “[Grimes and I] are semi-separated but still love each other, see each other frequently and are on great terms.”
The “Realiti” artist confirmed in a March 2022 Vanity Fair profile that the pair welcomed daughter Exa Dark Sideræl Musk via surrogate in December 2021. Several hours after the article’s publication, Grimes confirmed that the pair had called it quits.
“Me and E have broken up *again* since the writing of this article haha, but he’s my best friend and the love of my life, and my life and art are forever dedicated to The Mission now,” she tweeted at the time. “I think Devin wrote that part of the story rly well. Sique – peace out.”
Scroll to revisit the milestones from Grimes and Musk’s relationship:
Grimes and Elon Musk at the MET Gala Elon Musk and Grimes Relationship Timeline
Credit: Matt Baron/Shutterstock
Reports claimed the musician and the entrepreneur were dating in May 2018. The two debuted their romance at the Met Gala at the time. She later confirmed that their love connection was born when he messaged her after seeing a tweet she wrote about thought experiment Roko’s Basilisk.
Elon Musk and Grimes at Hyperloop Pod Competition Elon Musk and Grimes Relationship Timeline
Musk and Grimes attended the Hyperloop Pod Competition with his five sons in July 2018. He shares twins and triplets with ex-wife Justine Wilson.
Tiger Woods chastises Phil Mickelson for his Saudi viewpoint
TULSA, Okla. — Tiger Woods is all about majors and legacy, a point he drove home Tuesday in a sharp rebuke of Phil Mickelson and his support of a Saudi-funded golf venture that led to Lefty not defending his title at the PGA Championship.
Even as Woods resumes a remarkable return from a car crash 15 months ago that nearly led to his right leg being amputated, the PGA Championship cannot escape the absence of Mickelson and speculation about who might sign up for Greg Norman’s new Saudi-backed golf series.
Woods said he has not tried to reach out to Mickelson since his self-imposed hiatus from golf three months ago, mainly because of their difference of opinion on how golf should be run.
“I understand different viewpoints, but I believe in legacies. I believe in major championships. I believe in big events, comparisons to historical figures of the past,” Woods said.
“There’s plenty of money out here,” he said. “The tour is growing. But it’s just like any other sport — it’s like tennis — you have to go out there and earn it. You’ve got to go out there and play for it. We have opportunity to go ahead and do it. It’s just not guaranteed up front.”
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That was a reference to some of the Public Investment Fund money out of Saudi Arabia being offered to players to join Norman and his LIV Golf Investments. According to various reports out of Britain, some top players were being offered more than the $120 million Woods has made in career PGA Tour earnings.
Mickelson showed his hand in two interviews published in February. He accused the PGA Tour of “obnoxious greed” while playing in Saudi Arabia, and more incendiary comments followed when Alan Shipnuck published an excerpt of his unauthorized biography on Mickelson.
Mickelson said the Saudis were “scary mother-(expletives) to get involved with,” and then dismissed its human rights atrocities — such as the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi — by saying it was worth it to gain leverage to make changes on the PGA Tour.
He also said he didn’t care if the Saudi league failed, as long as the tour made changes he wanted.
Mickelson decided last Friday he would not play at Southern Hills, missing out on a chance to be celebrated for his historic win last year at Kiawah Island when at age 50 he became golf’s oldest major champion.
He is the first PGA champion not to defend since Woods was recovering from knee surgery in 2008 and skipped Oakland Hills.
“It’s always disappointing when the defending champion is not here,” Woods said. “Phil has said some things that I think a lot of us who are committed to the tour and committed to the legacy of the tour have pushed back against, and he’s taken some personal time, and we all understand that. But I think that some of his views on how the tour could be run, should be run, been a lot of disagreement there.”
“He’s just taking his time and we all wish him the best when he comes back.”
Woods, meanwhile, is back and more optimistic than he was a month ago at the Masters. He said those who are close to him were thrilled to see him walk all 72 holes at Augusta National, his first time walking while competing since the Feb. 23, 2021, accident in Los Angeles that shattered bones in his right leg and ankle.
All he could think about the day after was a bad putting week that led to a 78-78 weekend.
“I did not see it that way Monday,” he said. “I was a little ticked I didn’t putt well, and felt like I was hitting it good enough and I wish I had the stamina.”
He said the Monday after the Masters was a tough day of recovery, and then he went right back to work trying to gain strength and endurance.
“It’s better than the last time I played a tournament, which is good,” Woods said.
He is the defending PGA champion at Southern Hills, having won by two shots in 2007 for his 13th of what is now 15 majors. And he barely recognized the course after a restoration project that brought back a few meandering creeks and returned the edges of the putting surfaces so they funnel shots away from the green.
The bigger challenge is the players he is trying to beat, which make up the strongest field of the majors. Woods is 46, and Mickelson showed a year ago that age is only a number. However, Mickelson had been playing a full schedule all along. Woods, with his injuries, would appear to be limited to the four majors this year at most.
One help is the nature of the walk. Augusta National is among the toughest in golf. Southern Hills features a sharp drop from the first and 10th tees and tough climb at the end of each nine. Otherwise, it’s a relatively gentle stroll.
“Figured the first mountain you climbed was Everest. That’s the steepest golf course you’re going to play and that was the first one you climbed, and climbed it,” Woods said. “It’s going to get flatter and better.”
He still struggles on certain days. He said it’s never as easy as it might look.
“But I feel like I’m doing better,” he said. “I’m having more days which are better, more positive.”
Gavin Rossdale reveals he’s been messaging Tiger Woods’ ex
Gavin Rossdale has revealed he’s been exchanging text messages with Elin Nordegren, the ex-wife of Tiger Woods. The Voice judge said the pair were initially set up by a mutual pal who thinks they’d be a good match. Gavin, 51, told The Sun: “A friend was like, ‘You have to meet Elin. She’s amazing.’ He was trying to connect us. So I’ve texted her a couple of times to say hello. She lives in Florida. She’s a really great girl. But I’ve never met her.”
Gavin has three sons – Kingston, ten, Zuna, eight, and three-year-old Apollo – with his ex-wife Gwen Stefani. He admitted that he is under pressure from his boys to find a new partner, but worries that his chaotic home life could prove problematic. “I look at my boys running around the house with Nerf guns and throwing footballs and I think, ‘How would anyone survive?’ I’d be like, ‘Oh, sorry about that – someone’s sat on your sunglasses.’ And for the last two years, not to be with anyone, it’s been really healthy for me.”
Gavin has said his split from Gwen Stefani has given him a new outlook
Gavin and Gwen separated in August 2015 after 13 years of marriage. In a previous interview with Us Weekly, the Bush frontman said he felt the split had given him a new outlook on life. “We are all products of nuclear families,” he remarked. “My parents have been married three times each. I’m just a junior. I never thought I would get divorced. But it just happens. All these life things…
STORY: Gavin Rossdale – A look back at his past loves
“There’s been a lot of pain and sadness. It really teaches you perspective on life. It’s really health, happiness and safety. After that, I don’t know what there is other than that. I’m not sure I’ll ever go at it [marriage] again. I’m trying to be a really good dad and make good records and shoot good TV shows.”
What Brad Pitt had to say about Jennifer Aniston before cheating on her with Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt betrayed and left his wife of five years, Jennifer Aniston, to later marry Angelina Jolie.
The Ad Astra star was allegedly cheating on Aniston with Jolie, something that came as a shock to everyone around the world.
Right before his marriage broke with the Friends starlet, Pitt had passed heartwarming comments about her.
Showering Aniston with praises Pitt said, “Her emphasis is the home, friends, and family. We all kind of crowd around her like moths to the flame.”
He told Vanity Fair, “She’s like a magnet; she brings a lot of people together that way. Jen’s the fireplace; she provides the warmth.”
Reiterating his thoughts while talking to Oprah Winfrey, Pitt revealed, “She’s like that fire we crowd around for warmth. This is truly genuine. There’s not an ill-intention bone on this woman’s body. She’s really extraordinary and she’s taught me a lot that way. She brings people that way.”
Aniston, on the other hand, believed Pitt changed after meeting Jolie on the sets of Mr and Mrs Smith.
At the time, Aniston was reeling with pain as her show Friends was coming to an end.
She admitted that she was not good with families splitting up.
“It was hard to have such a wonderful constant in your life, a place to go every day, and then all of a sudden it’s not there,” Aniston said.
The actress said she tried to reach out to Pitt for support. Unfortunately, he was no longer there for her.
“He just wasn’t there for me,” Aniston added.
US gymnast Simone Biles’ ‘boyfriend’ sends warning to Zac Efron after Olympic superstar shares kiss with her crush
US gymnast Simone Biles might have loved meeting celebrity crush Zac Efron, but it seems not everyone was impressed.
The 19-year-old superstar, who picked up an astounding four gold medals at the Rio Olympic Games, went gaga over Zac after meeting her crush earlier this week but, Brazilian 22-year-old Arthur Mariano appears to have got a tad jealous as he had a few choice words for the actor.
Sharing a snap of the pair at the Games, Arthur jokingly wrote: “Hey @zacefron I saw her first… She is my girl.”
“Proud of you Simone! You are phenomal in whole world and special. You made history. Love u” (sic)
While the couple aren’t reportedly together, it’s clear he’s a huge Simone fan and earlier this week wrote: “Congrats BABE! You are doing an amazing job here at the Olympics. The crowd and all Brazilians (including me) love YOU!”
Zac Efron KISSES Simone Biles as Olympic gold medalist finally meets her celebrity crush
One of the stand out performers of the 2016 Games, the teenager finally got her wish to meet Zac earlier this week as he surprised her live on TV.
The actor posed for a string of SnapChat videos and pictures with the athlete after surprising the United States gymnastics team during an interview on the Today show.
She’s pretty smitten ( Image: Twitter)
When presenter Hoda Kotb teased Simone about the possibility of meeting Zac, she admitted: “If you bring him out, I think I’m gonna pass out.”
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