At the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles shocked the world when she pulled out of the majority of gymnastics categories to focus on her mental health. She then bounced back and wound up participating in the individual balance beam competition, in which she took home the bronze medal.
The star, 25, admitted "last year was a crazy year," but she has no regrets — in fact, she may not even be ready to retire just yet!
"I think pushing mental health to the forefront was a huge thing. I honestly didn't realize in that moment the impact that it would have," she explained to USA Today. "A couple months later, I have acknowledged everything that has happened. But it still blows my mind to know that it wasn't spoken about before as much as it is now, and we're not open about it and people don't perceive it the same way as an injury. So I'm happy that we had that conversation and we can now talk about it."
"Besides online, I've actually had a lot of people in person tell me how much I've done. And they thank me for my efforts because before that, they only ever said, 'Congratulations and thank you for gymnastics,'" recalled the Athleta ambassador. "But now with mental health being a huge topic that we talk about basically on the daily now, they're always telling me, 'Thank you so much. You've done so much for me and my family, my friends. Now I'm going to go get help.' So it really does mean a lot to me that a lot of people are now trying to get the help that they not only deserve but that they need."
Needless to say, the star has left her mark on the Olympics — she's currently the most-decorated gymnast of all-time — but that doesn't mean she's ready to say goodbye to the sport.
"Technically, if you would ask anybody in the U.S. that looks at an American gymnast, I'm probably already aged out, but I really feel like leading up to Tokyo, I was hitting my prime," explained Biles. "Truly, I thought in 2016, at 19 years old, I had peaked. And whenever I came back to the sport, I was like, there's no way I'm going to get even better than I was because somebody told me that was the best I was going to get."
"You just have to push out those negative views and just keep pushing. I want to see how much I'm capable of, how talented I can be," noted the Texas native. "And that's why I came back, just to not have any regrets if I look back in 10 years. So now I can really say I have no regrets, but maybe I might push it a little bit more to see."