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USA’s Biles ends turbulent week by insisting she was ‘doing this for me’ after returning to Olympic Games to win gymnastics bronze

USA’s Biles ends turbulent week by insisting she was ‘doing this for me’ after returning to Olympic Games to win gymnastics bronze
American gymnastics great Simone Biles, who pulled out of the team final and a series of other events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, has said she was "doing this for me" after winning beam bronze in the finale.

The 24-year-old achieved her feat with a 14.000 score that put her in third place behind Chinese gold and silver medalists Xijing Tang (14.233) and Chenchen Guan (14.633).

While her medal might not have been the color she wanted, it did mean she equaled Shannon Miller's record of seven medals for an American gymnast at the Games, earning a seventh honor following her four golds in Rio in 2016.

"It wasn’t easy pulling out of all those competitions," Biles admitted after. "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.

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"My mental and physical health is above all of the medals that I could ever win. So to be clear, to do beam, which I didn’t think I was going to, 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."

Perhaps seeing herself as something of a pioneer, Biles also insisted that mental health "should be talked about a lot more".

"Especially with athletes," she specified. "Because I know some of us are going through the same things and we’re always told to push through it.

"But we’re all a little bit older now and we can kind of speak for ourselves. At the end of the day, we’re not just entertainment – we’re humans and there are things going on behind the scenes that we’re also trying to juggle with as well on top of sports."

As the eldest member of the Team USA gymnastics squad, this Olympics has been tipped as Biles's last. She will be 27 at the start of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Also on rt.com US gymnast Simone Biles praised for her ‘courage and grace’ as she pulls out of yet more Olympic events