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Simone Biles on Olympic Games: 'I Should Have Quit Way Before Tokyo'

Simone Biles in balance beam qualifying.

Simone Biles told New York Magazine she "should have quit" gymnastics before the Tokyo Olympics instead of participating in the Games.

Biles, 24, said that the reasons she withdrew from the team competition and four individual events went far beyond a case of the twisties

The twisties refer to a feeling where gymnasts feel lost in the air, preventing athletes from completing skills at their normal ability. 

During the Games, Biles dealt with her mental health and the unexpected death of her aunt. The gymnast, who is currently not training as she goes through therapy, says her recovery is still a "work in progress." 

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"This will probably be something I work through for 20 years," Biles told the magazine. "No matter how much I try to forget. It's a work in progress.

"If you looked at everything I’ve gone through for the past seven years, I should have never made another Olympic team,” Biles added. “I should have quit way before Tokyo, when Larry Nassar was in the media for two years. It was too much. But I was not going to let him take something I’ve worked for since I was 6 years old."

On Sept. 15, Biles joined McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman in Washington, D.C., to offer testimony at the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on sexual abuse allegations against Nassar, who served as the former USA Gymnastics doctor from 1978 to 2016. 

“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse," Biles told the Committee. "The scars of this horrific abuse continue. The impact of this man's abuse will never be over."

Nassar's allegations were initially brought to the FBI in 2015. However, according to the Justice Department inspector general, the agency "failed to respond to Nassar's allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required, made numerous and fundamental errors when they did respond to them and violated multiple FBI policies.”

Nassar is currently serving a life sentence in prison after he was convicted on sexual assault and child pornography charges.