Though the past year signaled so many professional achievements for Simone Biles, it was a difficult one for her personal life. The 21-year-old Olympic gymnast, who was just named ESPN‘s Most Dominant Athlete of 2018, recently sat down with Robin Roberts at Good Morning America to reflect on her year filled with “ups and downs.”
“I feel this year gave me a voice.”
“I feel like there were a lot of points in this year that made me who I am today,” Biles said. At the start of 2018, Biles came forward as one of the many women abused by former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State doctor Larry Nassar. On Jan. 24, Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison. At a competition later in the year, Biles wore a significant teal leotard in honor of fellow survivors. (A teal ribbon is the symbol for sexual assault awareness and prevention.) “I feel this year gave me a voice,” Biles told Roberts. “I tried to find my voice this year and use that to the better potential in positive manners.”
That being said, her transformative year was “definitely not easy.” She said, “I still go to therapy, and I’m on anxiety medicine now because I had a lot of ups and downs throughout the year in trying to figure out what was wrong.” Adding, “It’s not easy, but the people surrounding me are some of the best, so it makes it a little easier.”
Despite everything, Biles still managed to make history as the first female gymnast to win four all-around titles at the World Gymnastics Championships. Oh, and she did that hours after a trip to the ER for kidney stones. Biles is also confirmed to compete at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo after the USA women’s gymnastics team recently secured their spot. We’re already looking forward to the many ways she’ll inspire us for years to come.