Simone Biles trained in a secret Japanese gym to prepare for her triumphant Tokyo Olympics comeback
- Simone Biles withdrew from 5 Tokyo medal events due to mental-health concerns and "the twisties."
- She mounted a triumphant Olympics comeback to take home bronze in the balance beam final.
- Biles secretly trained at a small Japanese gym outside of Tokyo to prepare for her return.
The 24-year-old's third-place finish in Tuesday's balance beam final gave her arguably the most impressive medal of the seven she's collected in her Olympics career. But it took a whole lot to reach that point - including secret trips to a gymnastics center far away from the grounds of the Tokyo Games.
Between bowing out of the team all-around final and returning for the final event of her Olympics slate, Biles spent many hours training in private at Juntendo University's gymnasium. According to The Wall Street Journal, her team made a call to one of the school's professors - Kazuhiro Aoki - who quickly sprang to action and helped coordinate the world's greatest gymnast's discreet training facilities.
Biles spent four days at the gym, located close to an hour away from the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo, where she later won bronze. Each time, she came flanked by her coaches and a team doctor. University employees would lock the gym's doors behind her, and she could get to work relearning many of the gymnastics fundamentals that were once second nature to Biles.
During an Instagram Q&A before her comeback, Biles explained that "there is a place here in Japan that has been so sweet to open their doors for me to train" but did not disclose that she had been at Juntendo. Now that she's finished her work in Japan, the 4-foot-8 superstar has made sure to thank the University by name.
"I'll forever be thankful for Junetendo for allowing me to come train separately to try to get my skills back," she wrote on Twitter Wednesday. "The Japanese are some of, if not the sweetest people I've ever met."
-Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) August 4, 2021
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