Simone Biles might not be done for good. Despite the gymnast telling The Cut she should have “quit long before Tokyo,” in the final episode of Simone vs Herself, the Facebook Watch Original docuseries, we’re learning about a much more nuanced story. The episode, which follows Simone during her days in Tokyo, as well as the days right after her return, is the closest we’ve gotten to truly understanding the mindset of the four-time Olympic gold medalist.
And though Simone didn’t officially say anything about her future in gymnastics, the episode did make one thing clear: the possibility of Paris 2024 is still open, for Simone and her coaches. When asked by the camera crew, “Do you think that we will see her again competing?” Biles’ coach Cecile Canqueteau-Landi responds, “Actually, she texted me a couple of days ago a couple of days ago and she said… The sentence was, ‘Haha, tell me why I’m thinking about 2024.’” Her coach proceeded to ask her “Unfinished business?” to which Biles responded, “Maybe.”
It is, perhaps, nothing surprising for such a young, decorated gymnast. Only a decade ago gymnastics was something you didn’t really do competitively on the Elite level after 20. Now, older gymnasts are breaking in and bringing in much more maturity, and a different mindset to a sport that demanded a change after the USGA and Larry Nassar scandals.
And though Simone Biles’ legacy is one of strength, endurance and putting mental health first, once the dust settles, and the twisties are gone, there might still be something Simone has to prove – to herself, more than anyone else.
“People were like, she had a bad turn she quit but it’s no that’s not it. I’ve done gymnastics on broken ribs; my two broken big toes are shattered cause they aren’t just broken they are shattered in pieces. Kidney stones, I’ve been through sexual abuse and came back to the sport,” she said in the docuseries. “There’s so many barriers that I have gotten past so to say I just had a bad turn and quit and to look at all of those, you can see I’m not a quitter, I’m a fighter.”
That fight might just take her to the next Olympics and even more gymnastics glory, but even if it doesn’t, that fight has already made her a role model for millions of people around the world.