'Week from hell': Simone Biles rocked by shocking tragedy at Olympics

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Simone Biles, pictured here in action at the Tokyo Olympics.
Simone Biles has been dealing with a family tragedy at the Olympics. Image: Getty

Simone Biles has revealed she's been struggling with more than just the 'twisties' at the Tokyo Olympics.

Biles won her seventh Olympic medal in the Ariake Arena on Tuesday night in an extraordinary comeback after withdrawing from her previous events due to mental health issues.

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The 24-year-old fought off a spatial awareness issue known as the 'twisties' to take bronze on the women's beam behind Chinese teenagers Chenchen Yuan and Tang Xijing.

It capped a remarkable return to centre stage for Biles, who had not competed since she withdrew early in the women's team final last week, citing a desire to protect her mental health.

But speaking to reporters after winning bronze on Tuesday night, Biles revealed the family tragedy that has also affected her during a tumultuous time in Tokyo.

Biles revealed her aunt "unexpectedly" died while she was preparing for her Olympics campaign.

Coach Cecile Canqueteau-Landi described it as a "week from hell" for Biles.

“I was like, ‘Oh my god. This week needs to be over'," Canqueteau-Landi told People.

"I asked her, ‘What do you need?’ And she said, ‘I’ll just need some time.’ 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.’”

Simone Biles, pictured here with her bronze medal after the balance beam final.
Simone Biles celebrates with her bronze medal after the balance beam final. (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)

Simone Biles 'proud' after medal at tumultuous Olympics

Biles pulled out of the first three of the four individual finals for which she had qualified, before reasoning that she was able to give it one last shot in the final women's event of the Games.

"I was proud of myself just to go out there after what I've been through," she said.

"This one is definitely sweeter. I'll treasure this one a lot more after everything I have been through."

Biles had arrived in Tokyo with the expectation of equalling or even surpassing her historic quadruple gold medal haul from Rio in 2016.

But despite successfully qualifying for all four individual finals, she seemed far from her all-conquering best.

She left the floor after one rotation of the team final after failing to land a vault.

Biles later confirmed she had pulled out due to the 'twisties', explaining in a social media quote: "It has never transferred to bars and beam for me. This time it's literally in every event which sucks.

"(You) literally cannot tell up from down. It's the craziest feeling ever, not having an inch of control over your body."

Despite beam not being regarded as Biles' greatest strength, she has won three world titles on the apparatus, including in Stuttgart in 2019, and won a bronze medal in Rio 2016.

with AAP

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