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Could Simone Biles really do the unthinkable and retire before Tokyo 2021?

Could Simone Biles really do the unthinkable and retire before Tokyo 2021? thumbnail

The gymnastics superstar has refused to commit to appearing at the next Olympics. Team USA would still be strong even without her though

Last week when Simone Biles spoke to the press for the first time since the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, she failed to guarantee she would be back for the rescheduled Games in 2021. “I haven’t decided not to do it, but I haven’t really decided to do it,” she told the Wall Street Journal.

This was not what we wanted to hear from one of the world’s most exciting athletes. Biles was heading into Tokyo 2020 as the overwhelming favorite to win her second consecutive Olympic all-around title. That would have been a fitting capstone for the 23-year-old’s record-breaking career. Though Biles had been adamant for the past year that she would retire after the 2020 Olympics, most assumed she would continue her career so she could compete in 2021 instead. Biles’ reasons for not immediately committing to next’s summer’s Olympics are sensible: the toll another year of training would take on her already aching body; the desire to move on with her life; and another year of dealing with USA Gymnastics, one of the institutions that enabled former team doctor Larry Nassar to abuse Biles and dozens of other athletes. “I don’t know if I can deal with USAG for another year,” she said.

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