Simone Biles Divulges the Unexpected Benefits of Her More Relaxed Approach to Training This Year

Her preparation has been more intentional, and she’s reaping the benefits.
Simone Biles poses in a white quarter zip and sports a gymnastics medal around her neck.

Simone Biles.

Simone Biles isn’t approaching her gymnastics regimen in the same way that she used to. Following her withdrawal from the 2020 Summer Olympics, the 26-year-old wasn’t convinced that she would—or could—return to her former level of performance. In fact, “I truly didn’t think I would compete in gymnastics again,” after her bout of the “twisties” in Tokyo, she revealed in a recent essay in PORTER. 

So, she entered 2023 with a more relaxed mentality. She wasn’t sure what her gymnastics threshold was anymore, but she gave herself the grace to figure it out. “At first, it was going into the gym just to play, to see if I could still twist,” Biles explained. “I tried to be very intentional about everything I was doing this time around, to ensure I feel comfortable and confident enough to train at a high level, and to simply compete again. And, through it all, my mental health has been a priority; I’ve been keeping up with my weekly therapy and I’m proud of that.”

Her return has been, in her own words, “intentional.” Most importantly, perhaps, her newfound approach has included a greater attention to personal endeavors beyond her sport. “I really wanted to be more active in my family life, to see my friends more and be more present,” she said. And that’s exactly what she’s done.

“In the past year, I got married, watched my niece be born, have been on girls trips, traveled with friends and had vacations with my husband,” she said of the benefits of her more relaxed approach to training. “It’s been an incredible year doing things I wouldn’t have been able to do if I were training, as I have in the past. Marriage has been a beautiful thing.”

Biles has her eyes set on the Paris Olympics next summer, but has every intention of maintaining her intentional approach in the lead up.

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Martha Zaytoun


Martha Zaytoun is a Lifestyle & Trending News writer for SI Swimsuit. Before joining the team, Martha worked on the editorial board of the University of Notre Dame’s student magazine and on the editorial team at Chapel Hill, Durham and Chatham Magazines in North Carolina. When not working, Martha loves to watercolor and oil paint, run or water ski. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a huge Fighting Irish fan.