Tokyo 2020 – Simone Biles reveals her aunt ‘unexpectedly’ died two days before balance beam final
"Two days ago my aunt unexpectedly passed, and that was something I wasn't expecting to happen at the Olympic Games either,” Simone Biles told reporters after picking up bronze in the balance beam final. The American had already pulled out of four individual events before competing despite learning of the devastating news in the family.
Simone Biles of Team United States and coach Cecile Canqueteau-Landi interact during the Women's Balance Beam Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre
She returned to action on Tuesday, and after taking bronze she said a difficult week was made even tougher when hearing of the shock death in the family.
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"Two days ago my aunt unexpectedly passed, and that was something I wasn't expecting to happen at the Olympic Games either,” Biles told reporters.
So at the end of the day, you have to be a little bit more mindful of what you say online, because you have no idea of what these athletes are going through as well as (in) their sports.
Biles’ coach Cecile Canqueteau-Landi also opened up about the devastating news.
"That was another one, I was like, 'Oh my God. This week needs to be over,'" Canqueteau-Landi said, per People. "I asked her what do you need. And she said, 'I just need some time.'
Watch delighted Biles receive bronze medal on the podium after beam
“I said, 'You call me, text me if you need anything I'll be here. Whatever that is.' She called her parents. She said, 'There's nothing I can do from over here. So I'm just going to finish my week and when I get home we'll deal with it.'"
Biles said this bronze was much “sweeter” than the one she picked up at Rio 2016, and Canqueteau-Landi admitted there were “a lot of tears” throughout the duration of the competitions.
"We've had a lot of tears combined because as much as we're happy for Team USA, in the back, it was a little heart-breaking to know that she could've been out there and she could've, hopefully, earned some medals as well," Canqueteau-Landi said.
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