With rules still allowing for gatherings of up to 10 people, the leads for Team USA were preparing as if the event would still go on. But during a break, Biles checked her cell phone and got a text informing her of the news.
“I really didn’t know what to feel. I just kind of sat there and I cried but ultimately it was the right decision…we need to make sure everyone in the US and around the world is healthy and safe,” Biles, the winner of four Olympic gold medals in Rio 2016, told NBC’s “Today Show” Wednesday.
Biles, along with other athletes, is doing her part to help people impacted by the pandemic. The 23-year-old partnered with Athletes for Covid-19 Relief, an organization helping to support the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Covid-19 Response Fund.
Donations over $25 are entered into a contest, with participants getting the chance to win a Biles-signed leotard, among other apparel donated by pro athletes. As of publication, the leotard donated by the Texas native had raised $1,601 for the cause.
“In a crisis like this, everyone wants to jump to their feet and help and I had that opportunity,” said Biles, who is America’s most decorated gymnast. “By donating that leo, it will make sure that kids don’t fall behind in school and that small businesses are on their feet.”
Biles herself is staying on her feet during this time of social distancing, by the way of home workout. “I’m in contact through text and FaceTime with my coaches so we can figure out what the right decision, our plan moving forward for the next year. But we’re doing more body work: so abs, arms, legs.”
However, the lack of access to a gym does have some downsides.
“There’s definitely no ‘Biles’ (her self-titled signature move of twists and turns) in the living room,” said the Olympian, who has also won 19 World Championship golds. But home does offer one alternate workout the gym does no. “I’m also walking my dog a lot more,” she says.
Nutrition is another key component of training, but Biles has her mom to help with that, despite the social distancing mandate.
“Sunday dinners are a big part of my family, but we haven’t been able to go to my parents house. So she’s been doing curbside Sunday dinner pickups…that’s the best thing we have,” she added.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will now take place July through August of 2021, with Biles among the many participants.