Simone Biles shared on Instagram that she never prioritized her health as a young woman.
Biles withdrew from several events at the Tokyo Olympics, citing a need to focus on her mental health.
Biles said she sought therapy to deal with issues stemming from her past, and the summer games.
Simone Biles, 24, recently shared that she has come a long way in prioritizing her mental health.
The seven-time Olympic medalist reflected on her personal growth on Friday during an "Ask Me Anything" Q & A with her followers on Instagram Stories.
One follower asked, "What Olympic moment has marked you the most in your career?"
"2021. having the courage to take care & put myself first," Biles replied in the screenshot captured by Insider below. In smaller type she added, "16 yr old simone would never."
While competing in the Tokyo Olympics, Biles pulled out of four event finals due to experiencing the "twisties," a performance issue that can cause discombobulation in the air, possibly resulting in severe injury or worse.
The decorated athlete recently told The Cut that it was likely a conflation of emotional stress and past trauma that led to her performance faltering. "If you looked at everything I've gone through for the past seven years, I should have never made another Olympic team," she said.
"Say up until you're 30 years old, you have your complete eyesight," Biles continued. "One morning, you wake up, you can't see s--t, but people tell you to go on and do your daily job as if you still have your eyesight."
"You'd be lost, wouldn't you?" she added. "That's the only thing I can relate it to. I have been doing gymnastics for 18 years. I woke up - lost it. How am I supposed to go on with my day?"
However, Biles' decision to withdraw from competition became a hotly debated topic in the media. In an op-ed article for the Daily Mail, Piers Morgan criticized the gymnast where he claimed she "let down" her country and her teammates.
In a September 2021 interview with Harper's Bazaar Biles shared that she is continuing therapy amid the fallout from the Tokyo Olympics. "This will probably be something I work through for 20 years. No matter how much I try to forget. It's a work in progress," she said.
Despite the intense level of public scrutiny over her personal choices, Biles said she does not regret anything, telling the Associated Press that "everything happens for a reason."
"Everybody asks, 'If you could go back, would you?' No. I wouldn't change anything because everything happens for a reason. And I learned a lot about myself-courage, resilience, how to say no and speak up for yourself," she said.
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