Simone Biles reveals that her aunt died during Tokyo Olympics

Analis Bailey
USA TODAY

Following her triumphant comeback Tuesday, four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles revealed that her aunt died just two days prior to competing in the balance beam event.

Biles, 24, withdrew from four individual finals – all-around, vault, floor and uneven bars –last week citing mental health concerns and "the twisties,” a condition when gymnasts lose their sense of awareness in the air.

Biles’ coach Cecile Cantqueteau-Landi opened up to reporters Tuesday about what Biles had been going through during the Tokyo Games including her aunt’s unexpected death. 

Next for Simone Biles: Will she return for 2024 Olympics in Paris?

“I was like, ‘Oh my God. This week needs to be over,” said Canqueteau-Landi. I asked (Biles) what do you need. And she said, ‘I just need time.’ I said, ‘You call me, text me if you need anything I’ll be here. Whatever it is.’ She called her parents. She said, ‘There is 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.’”

Simone Biles competes on the balance beam.

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Despite mourning her family's tragedy, Biles received a score of 14.0 in her return to competition, earning bronze. It was the seventh Olympic medal for her, matching Shannon Miller's record for the most medals won by an American gymnast. 

Contact Analis Bailey at aabailey@usatoday.com or on Twitter @analisbailey.