Simone Biles' heartbreaking dilemma over whether to withdraw from the Olympics was captured in real-time video, including the moment she told her coach she wasn't sure what she was going to do.
"I just don't know what I'm going to do the rest of the meet. That's my problem. I don't want to do something stupid," Biles told her coach, Cecile Landi, in new video that appears in the Facebook Watch series "Simone vs Herself."
Biles then hugged her teammates and exited the floor. While her family would typically be in the stands, spectators weren't permitted at the Olympics due to COVID. A documentary film crew caught the moment Nellie Biles received a call from her daughter letting her know what was happening.
"You can't do it? That's OK, honey. That's OK," Biles told her daughter. "They will do their best without you. I don't want you going out there if you're not in a good place and you don't need to go out there and hurt yourself. That's just not right. You need to take care of yourself."
As they finished the call, Biles offered her daughter a few more words of encouragement.
"I love you. Just take some deep breaths and just know we're praying for you, OK?" she said.
While Biles was widely celebrated for putting her mental health first, she also talked about the backlash she received from people who will truly never know what it's like to compete at an elite level.
"You know how many times i wanted to wake up and it not be a reality?" she said. "I was like, 'Am I living in a nightmare right now? Like I just thought it was a dream over and over again."
Biles ultimately came back for the final event and won a bronze medal on the balance beam and told TODAY it "means more than all the goals."
While she doesn't have to prove it to anyone, Biles also reminded people who didn't support her decision to withdraw that she has persevered through sexual abuse, shattered toes, kidney stones and broken ribs.
"There are so many barriers i have gotten past, so to say I had a bad turn and quit, if you look at all of those you can see I'm not a quitter. I'm a fighter."
She added: "I put myself first for once."