Simone Biles Says She Questioned If She Was ‘Ever Going to Be Able to Compete Again’

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As she mounts her comeback after two years away from international competition, Simone Biles had doubts she could do it — as recently as this year.

In an interview with, the seven-time Olympic medalist shared that she had to conquer her fears in the gym, and that her fellow gymnasts encouraged her along the way.

“I didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to compete again, cause there was multiple times this year, where I was in the gym and I was like, I’m actually terrified of this full in,” Biles, 26, said. “Like, I’m not doing it again, never gonna do it, and then I was like, you know what, I’m just gonna come back another day, another day.”

She added, “But I also think the girls on the team really helped me with that, because they were like no, Simone, just come in, like come on. And I’m like, okay you’re right, I can’t give up now because then I’ll forever be afraid of it.”

On Sunday in the preliminaries at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship, Biles landed her signature now-namesake vault, the “Biles II,” also known as the Yurchenko double pike vault.

The five-time all-around world champion posted an all-around total of 58.865 to lead qualifying, according to the Associated Press.

In August, the iconic gymnast spoke to PEOPLE about returning to competition after being two years removed from a very public battle waged during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with the dreaded “Twisties,” which led her to recalibrate her mindset, if not her approach.

“I feel like in the very beginning I was very nervous, obviously to step back out there because a lot of athletes when they take a couple years off, you have a little bit of doubt if you’re going to even be the same athlete you were, how strong you were going to be,” she told PEOPLE.

 Simone Biles

She added, “I think I’ve always had the competitive drive, so I don’t think that taking the time off taught me a lot about the competitive side of me. I think it was more about the personal side and getting to truly take care of myself mentally and physically and make sure everything is in tune so that whenever I am competing everything goes well.”

And as she vies for her sixth all-around world championship, she shared with that she’s also bringing a fine-tuned perspective about it all.

“Before everybody defined success for me, even if I had my own narrative that I wanted, so now it’s just like showing up, being in a good head place, having fun out there, and whatever happens happens,” Biles said.



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