'I felt ashamed': Simone Biles' startling Olympic admission

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Simone Biles (pictured) looking up before the US Women's Gymnastics Olympic trials.
Simone Biles (pictured) has revealed the pressure and expectations she felt during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games meant she felt 'ashamed' when falling short of five gold medals. (Getty Images)

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles has opened up on the pressure she felt during her extremely successful Rio Games campaign and how she felt 'ashamed' after falling short of expectations.

Biles is widely regarded as the the greatest gymnast ever having collected a remarkable four Olympic gold medals and 19 World Championship gold medals at the age of 24.

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The 4'8 American superstar is preparing for one final run at a host of Olympic medals in Tokyo, which Biles penned in as her last Games before she retires from the rigorous sport.

While Tokyo will surely only further cement her position at the pinnacle of gymnastics, Biles has revealed she felt 'ashamed' at the 2016 Rio Games when she fell agonisingly short of five gold.

Biles stood upon the podium in Rio with four gold medals around her neck.

The brilliant American had the adoration of the Olympic world, but Biles was still carrying the weight of expectation.

Many thought Biles would win five gold.

But, the American grabbed the beam in the balance beam final and paid the price with a 0.5 point deduction.

A sport decided by the finest of margins.

US gymnast Simone Biles (pictured middle) celebrates on the podium for the women's vault event final of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
US gymnast Simone Biles (pictured middle) celebrates on the podium for the women's vault event final of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Biles said she bore the brunt of expectation and couldn't enjoy her insane achievements as much as she should have for a 19-year-old.

“I was so happy that I even medaled because of the mistake that I had,” Biles told Sports Illustration.

"But I felt so ashamed because people were pissed off that I ruined their [headline] of five gold medals.”

But the lockdown has offered the 24-year-old a change in attitude as she prepares for the next chapter of her life.

Beyond the agonising daily grind in the gym.

Simone Biles 'heartbroken' over Olympic delay

Biles also opened up to Sports Illustration about the disappointment she felt when the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on world sport.

Simone Biles competes in the floor exercise during the Women's competition of the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials at America’s Center on June 27, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri.
Simone Biles competes in the floor exercise during the Women's competition of the 2021 US Gymnastics Olympic Trials at America’s Center on June 27, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Feeling in peak form, Biles was forced to watch on as event after event - including the Olympics - was postponed or cancelled.

Biles had prepared for one more four year stint after feeling the wear and tear of gymnastics on her body.

"I was just so heartbroken," she said to the publication.

While admitting she doesn't feel her body is 'on top of the world' as it was in 2020, Biles is ready to stun the world again.

Simone Biles competes in the floor exercise during the Women's competition of the 2021 US Gymnastics Olympic Trials at America’s Center on June 27, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri.
Simone Biles competes in the floor exercise during the Women's competition of the 2021 US Gymnastics Olympic Trials at America’s Center on June 27, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

The lockdown gave Biles more time to perfect the Yurchenko double pike.

No female had ever achieved the feat in competition until she nailed it at the GK US Classic in May.

Overall, Biles is going into the Tokyo Olympics with a more holistic attitude of what the Games mean to her - not the public - and the exciting prospect of what is unwritten.

And the remarkable American said this was her biggest task to date.

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

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