Simone Biles reveals aunt died during Tokyo Olympics


Simone Biles, of the United States, performs her floor routine during the women’s artistic gymnastic qualifications at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

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TAMPA (WFLA) – Following her triumphant comeback Tuesday, Simone Biles revealed that her aunt died just two days prior to competing in the balance beam event.

According to People, Biles told reporters she got the news while in Japan that her aunt on her father’s side “unexpectedly passed.”

Biles’ coach Cecile Canqueteau-Landi told reporters, “I was like, ‘Oh my God. This week needs to be over.'” 

Biles has had an emotional journey during the Tokyo Games. She pulled out of four individual finals, citing mental health concerns and “the twisties,” which is phenomenon gymnasts face in which they cannot do flips in the air.

Despite mourning the death of her aunt, the American gymnastics superstar won bronze during the balance beam final on Tuesday.

While she hasn’t officially announced her retirement — she’s hinted that she might want to stick around in some fashion until the 2024 Paris Games to honor coaches Laurent and Cecile Landi, who are both French — a long layoff awaits. She’s headlining a post-Olympic tour through the fall but stressed recently she plans to stay close to the sport.

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