Olympic gold medalist and gymnastics record-setter Simone Biles found her voice in 2018, a year that featured immense highs and lows for the young athlete. She continued to use that voice Tuesday morning on “Good Morning America” where she disclosed she began taking anxiety medicine and regularly goes to therapy after she was sexually abused by former team doctor Larry Nassar.
The high that goes with it: gracing the cover of ESPN The Magazine’s The 20 Most Dominant Athletes issue as its No. 1.
Biles speaks about therapy, medication
It’s the first time Biles has spoken publicly about her self-care. The 21-year-old first shared she was one of the hundreds sexually abused by Nassar nearly a full year ago, Jan. 15, 2018.
Biles told GMA’s Robin Roberts she’s able to process it all through anxiety medication and talking through it.
“I had a lot of ups and downs throughout the year and trying to figure out what was wrong,” Biles said. “I go to therapy pretty regularly. It’s not easy but the people surrounding me are some of the best so it makes it a little easier.”
“There were a lot of points in this year that made me who I am today and I feel stronger,” she said. “I feel like this year gave me a voice and I tried to find my voice this year and use that to the better potential and positive manner.”
Her appearance on GMA came less than 24 hours after an independent investigation released its findings that the United States Olympic Committee failed to protect its young athletes, going so far as to delete evidence in keeping the allegations secret.
Biles named most dominant athlete
The four-time Olympic gold medalist swung by GMA for the reveal of her ESPN cover. The magazine named her its most dominant athlete of 2018.
Simone Biles’ routines at the U.S. and world championships appeared unbound by terrestrial gravity; she became the first gymnast to make falling irrelevant. (The dominant-athlete quote of the year is surely hers: “It just sucks that I did so bad and I still won.”)
Biles said she asked the organization if she was No. 20, or maybe top five. She “honestly didn’t believe” that ESPN named her its No. 1.
“It didn’t occur to me and I didn’t think it was real,” she told Roberts.
“I was like, you’re joking,” she added.
“Dominated” feels too weak of a word to use for Biles at the 2018 World Championships this autumn. She won medals in all six events, including four golds that gave her the title of most world championship titles.
Her silver on the uneven bars was her first world medal in the event, what had been the one blemish on her career.
“I mean, come on! How did you do that?” Roberts said, asking the question we all wanted to know.
Biles said she and her parents were hoping the stone would wait to pass until they got back to the U.S., which is exactly what happened. Proving she’s still a 21-year-old, she revealed she postponed a follow-up doctor’s appointment to be on GMA that morning.
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