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Simone Biles reveals that her aunt died days before gymnast resumed Olympics competition

The Team USA gymnast revealed the news after she won a bronze medal.

Updated: August 3, 2021 - 6:12pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


Team USA gymnast Simone Biles told reporters after the beam final at the Olympics on Tuesday that her aunt on her father's side had "unexpectedly passed" two days earlier.

Biles won a bronze medal during the beam final, which was her first individual medal in an event final after she had withdrawn from four individual finals to focus on her mental health, People Magazine reported.

The Olympic gymnast "had 'two sessions' with Team USA's sports psychologist before being cleared to compete," according to the magazine website.

Biles' coach, Cecile Canqueteau-Landi, told reporters regarding her aunt passing, "That was another one, I was like, 'Oh my God. This week needs to be over.'

"I asked her, 'What do you need?' And she said, 'I just need some time,'" her coach recalled. "I said, 'You call me, text me if you need anything I'll be here. Whatever that is.' She called her parents. She said, 'There's nothing I can do from over here. So I'm just going to finish my week and when I get home we'll deal with it.'"

Biles withdrew from the other competitions because of "what she has called the 'twisties,' a disorienting condition that causes an athlete to lose air awareness and endangers their safety," People reported.

As a result of the "twisties," Biles said her "mind and body [weren't] in sync."

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