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'America hates me': Simone Biles opens up about the 'twisties' in Tokyo

Biles said in an interview released Wednesday that she thought she "was going to be banned from America" after she pulled out of gymnastic competition at the Summer Games in 2021.
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Simone Biles has said she was scared to return to the U.S. after she pulled out of a gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics while grappling with the "twisties."

Biles, 27 — the most decorated athlete the sport has ever seen, with 37 world and Olympic gold medals — has spoken out about the huge pressure she felt from at home and abroad when she withdrew from the team final at the Games in the summer of 2021.

"America hates me. The world is going to hate me. I can only see what they’re saying on Twitter right now," she recalled feeling in an interview with on the "Call Her Daddy" podcast, which was provided exclusively to "TODAY." The full podcast is due to be published Wednesday.

Biles stunned millions watching around the world by failing to execute her vault routine and landing awkwardly. She pulled out of the team final and the individual all-round final, sparking a conversation about mental health and the pressures of elite sports.

Biles explained at the time that the “twisties” is when a gymnast loses spatial awareness midair and can’t judge when and where to land.

"So I open landed like that, and as soon as I land, I kind of grin, and I’m like, 'S---,'" she said in the preview clip.

'America hates me': Simone Biles opens up about withdrawing from Tokyo 2020 finals
Biles has spoken out about the huge pressure she felt competing at the Games.Lionel Bonaventure / AFP - Getty Images file

Biles managed to compete in the beam final, taking home the bronze medal — an achievement she rated as her most meaningful in a glittering Olympic career.

"If I could’ve gotten on a plane and flown home, I would’ve done it. I thought I was going to be banned from America, ’cause that’s what they tell you: 'Don’t come back if not gold. Gold or bust. Don’t come back,'" Biles said on the podcast.

It remains unclear whether Biles will compete in the Paris Olympics, which kicks off in the French capital in 100 days.

But Biles has strongly hinted that is her goal.

She told "TODAY" last year: "I would say that’s the path I would love to go, so I wouldn’t mind if you put it in the ‘yay’ section."

Biles ended a two-year break from elite competition last year, coming back to win an eighth individual title in the U.S. before winning a sixth world all-round title a few weeks later.

She is due to compete at the U.S. Classic in Hartford, Connecticut, next month.

The opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics is on July 26.