Simone Biles arrived home in Houston on Thursday from the Tokyo Olympics, where she won two medals despite dealing with intense pressure and a temporary inability to control her twists in the air.
When she walked out of the airport with teammate Jordan Chiles and their coach, Cecile Canqueteau-Landi, the gathered fans started a “USA! USA!” chant. Biles was seen hugging her mother, Nellie, and father, Ron, as the crowd cheered and waved American flags.
Biles has received support from other gymnasts, including former teammate Aly Raisman and five-time gold medalist Nadia Comaneci, for prioritizing her physical and mental health while experiencing the “twisties.” Other athletes who have struggled with mental health issues, such as Michael Phelps and Gracie Gold, also praised her.
Biles says she will take some time to “recognize what I’ve done with my career” but is “keeping the door open” in terms of future Olympics.
After withdrawing from the team all-around and four individual events after a case of the ‘twisties,’ a vertigo-like condition that makes gymnastics exceptionally dangerous, Simone Biles returned to compete in the final event of the Tokyo Olympics, winning bronze.