Simone Biles

Simone Biles, who won the all-around title at the 2016 Olympics, is back training and will be 24 next summer when the Tokyo Games are now scheduled to be held. But if the games can’t be held, it might mark the end of Biles’ career. Gregory Bull/Associated Press

Simone Biles has resumed training at her gym near Houston following a two-month shutdown forced by the novel coronavirus, her sights squarely on the postponed Tokyo Games that are scheduled to open in July 2021.

But if lingering health concerns about the pandemic force the Games’ cancellation in 2021, Biles acknowledged Thursday in an interview with ESPN’s Julie Foudy that she didn’t know if she could stick with the sport for the next Olympic cycle.

“I do not know what I would do,” said Biles, speaking from her training base in Spring, Texas. “So, I’m just praying for the best, hoping that it goes on for selfish reasons, of course, but (also) for all the athletes around the world working toward this dream.”

Biles, who will be 24 when the 2021 Olympics are held, said that her greatest challenge isn’t the sport’s physical demands. It’s the mental strain of keeping her inner fire alive – and doing so without full faith in USA Gymnastics, which failed to report team doctor Larry Nassar’s serial sexual abuse and has refused, amid bankruptcy proceedings, to disclose information that athletes and their lawyers are demanding.

“Everybody wants me to speak out, and they don’t realize how draining that is for me while I’m training,” Biles said, crediting her parents, coaches and agents for helping her manage the workload and expectations. “I just try to focus on myself because if I get involved, it stresses me out. It’s a lot to put on myself to be the voice and the face of the sport – especially with USA Gymnastics, being where they stand. Not a fan-favorite (of mine). Obviously, a lot more investigations need to be done. … At the end of the day, I have my one goal, so I just go into the gym, drain out everything and do my work. And that’s the only thing I can focus on.”

Asked if she felt she could walk away from gymnastics given all she has achieved, which includes five World all-around championships, the 2016 Olympic all-around gold medal and four signature skills named for her in the sport’s international rule book, Biles didn’t hesitate.

“Most definitely I could walk away from this sport and feel like I accomplished more than I ever actually imagined, because when I was younger, growing up, all I wanted was a college scholarship,” Biles said. “So I’ve exceeded that. And then I wanted to go to the World Championship and Olympics, and I’ve been to five Worlds and one Olympic Games, so I’d be more than happy.”

With Texas entering a new phase of its reopening, Biles resumed training at her family-owned gym on May 25. While it was great to see her coaches and teammates, she said, getting back on the equipment was hardly a snap.

“After that amount of time off, it kind of sucks because your body hurts, then you get really sore,” Biles said. “So, you just have to get back into the swing of things.”

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