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Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles admits to aunt’s death two days before comeback

Simone Biles, a gymnastics superstar, said on Tuesday that her aunt died "unexpectedly" whilst the champion was at the Tokyo Olympics.

Biles won a bronze medal on the balance beam on Tuesday after returning to competition following a week out due to mental health problems. The 24-year-old later told reporters about the passing of her paternal aunt during a press conference.

"At the end of the day, most people have no idea what we're going through," Biles added.

"When I woke up two days earlier, my aunt had passed away unexpectedly, and it wasn't easy being here at the Olympic Games."

"People need to understand that, at the end of the day, we're human beings, not simply entertainment," she continued. "There are things going on behind the scenes that the general public is unaware of."

Cecile Canqueteau-Landi, Biles’ coach said that she was ready to provide any assistance possible to help Simone recover her mental health.

Biles pulled out of four individual finals in the Olympics: all-around, vault, uneven bars, and floor exercise. She blamed mental health issues, later stating that she had the "twisties" and was afraid of harming herself during the tournament.

Biles did not do any twists in her comeback to the balancing beam final, instead completing a rather conventional performance, for which she won bronze.

Despite the fact that Biles has not divulged the identity of her late aunt or the cause of her death, it is assumed that she is the sister of Ronald Biles, the gymnast's father.

Ron, 71, and his wife Nellie, 66, are Biles' grandparents, but they adopted her and her sister Adria after they were taken away from their birth mother, Shanon, who struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and spent time in prison, forcing her children to be placed in foster care when Biles was just three years old. Nellie and Ron adopted her three years later, and she considers them her parents.


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