American gymnast Simone Biles has revealed thoughts of quitting the sport came long before the Tokyo Olympics.
Biles, renowned as one of the greatest gymnasts of all time, was a hot favourite at the postponed Games before withdrawing from four events citing mental health struggles and developing the 'twisties' - a mental block that causes gymnasts to lose their muscle memory and feel like they are lost in the air.
She was one of hundreds of women abused by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar and was the only survivor to represent Team USA at the 2020 Games.
She said the trauma of being sexually abused played a major role in how things unfolded.
"If you looked at everything I've gone through for the past seven years, I should have never made another Olympic team," Biles told New York Magazine who she covers the latest issue of. "I should have quit way before Tokyo, when Larry Nassar was in the media for two years. It was too much.
"But I was not going to let him take something I've worked for since I was six years old. I wasn't going to let him take that joy away from me. So I pushed past that for as long as my mind and my body would let me"
Biles said she still struggled to come to terms with her decision to withdraw from events at the Games but that she had no regrets.
"Sometimes it's like, yeah, I'm perfectly okay with it. Like, that's how it works. That's how it panned out,' she said. 'And then other times I'll just start bawling in the house," she said.
"Everybody asks, 'If you could go back, would you?' No. I wouldn't change anything because everything happens for a reason. And I learned a lot about myself — courage, resilience, how to say no and speak up for yourself."
Earlier this month, Biles told Congress that the FBI and gymnastics officials turned a "blind eye" to Nassar's sexual abuse.
Biles told the Senate Judiciary Committee that "enough is enough" as she and three other U.S. gymnasts spoke in stark emotional terms about the lasting toll Nassar's crimes have taken on their lives.
"I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse," Biles said. She said USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee "knew that I was abused by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge."
Nassar sexually abused more than 150 women over the course of his 30-year career. He was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison in 2018.