"What do we want from our heroes?" Taylor Swift asked in a clip previewing Simone Biles’ Olympic balance beam routine. "What do we expect from them? What do we need from them?
"What happens when they surprise us?"
In the background, an announcer can be heard saying, "And that was not what was planned," when Simone Biles took a large leap after a rough vault landing. As the star gymnast walked away from the mat, the voice continues, "Just doubting herself somewhere."
Moments after the dismount, news broke that the 24-year-old withdrew from the team final "due to a medical issue," USA Gymnastics said at the time. Over the coming days, she also withdrew from the individual all-around event, vault and uneven bars and the final for floor. It would later be revealed Biles did so for two reasons—her mental health and a bad case of the "twisties."
"When you have the attention of the world, everything you do takes on a bigger meaning," Swift said. "It can be a heavy burden."
In the background, the “Folklore” artist's song, 'This is me trying,' echoed as Swift said, "It can be a chance to change everything."
As Biles took the step to prioritize her health and safety on sport's biggest stage—similar to tennis star Naomi Osaka who withdrew from the French Open a few months ago—Olympic icons like Michael Phelps and Caeleb Dressel supported and defended the gymnast's decision. The topic received increased attention throughout the Tokyo Games.
"At the end of the day, people don't understand what we are going through," Biles told reporters Tuesday, per CBS News. "Two days ago, I woke up and my aunt unexpectedly passed, and it wasn't any easier being here at the Olympic Games."
Earlier in the week, she took to Instagram to tell fans, "For anyone saying I quit, I didn't quit," adding that, "physical health is mental health." And each day, Biles worked with doctors to mentally prepare herself to perform before earning a bronze medal in the balance beam final Tuesday.
When NBC's clip aired, Biles took to Twitter to profess her gratitude toward Swift and her words.
“I’m crying,” Biles tweeted, along with a heart and teary-eyed emoji. “How special. I love you @taylorswift13.”
The Grammy winner replied, “I cried watching YOU. I feel so lucky to have gotten to watch you all these years, but this week was a lesson in emotional intelligence and resilience. We all learned from you. Thank you.”
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