Simone Biles couldn't help but hold her breath when she saw a British newspaper report on Thursday that suggested the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo, which have already been delayed a year due to the pandemic, might be canceled.
The report by The Times of London was vehemently denied by Japanese officials on Friday, but the gymnastics superstar and four-time gold medalist admittedly had an uneasy feeling when she first heard of the news.
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"I saw the news yesterday, and then to see the IOC and everybody kind of put out the news (denying the report) put my mind at ease, because yesterday I was sitting on the couch and my phone started blowing up," Biles told Hoda Kotb on TODAY Friday. "I really did not know what to think, I was like, 'Oh goodness, here we go again, like let's see,' but then that night my agent texted me some articles and kind of eased me."
The Times cited an anonymous source said to be a member of the government coalition saying the Games, which are scheduled to start on July 23, could be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Olympics organizing committee said in a statement that the games would go forward as planned and had the support of Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Japan's cabinet secretariat also released a statement on behalf of the government.
"Some news reports circulating today are claiming that the Government of Japan has privately concluded that the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will have to be cancelled. This is categorically untrue," the statement said.
The report came after thousands of athletes around the world already endured the heartbreak of having the Olympics postponed. Biles, 23, told TODAY last year that she cried after hearing the Games were being pushed to 2021.
She is expected to once again be a centerpiece star for the U.S. Olympic team and has become accustomed to the whiplash as plans for the Games remain uncertain.
"I mean it is kind of crazy but it's to be expected," she said. "We are in a pandemic, so we're kind of ready for whatever life throws us at this point, so we're training as if, and whatever happens, happens. We have to do what's safe for the rest of the world, for ourselves to make sure everyone's healthy, but hopefully the Olympics can still be put on, even if it means we're in a bubble."
Biles is willing to agree to any precautions or protocols if it means she gets a chance to compete on gymnastics' biggest stage.
"I'll basically do anything at this moment," she said. "I know other sports have gone and done testing every day. It just is a matter of time until we hear what the Olympic committee has to say and what their precautions are going to be going forward.
"Whatever they say they want us to do, I'm in 100%, because I've been training so hard, and I've just been so ready," she added.
The most decorated gymnast of all time also addressed stories speculating that this may be her final Olympics.
"With the delay I just have to take it one day at a time, see how my body feels," Biles said. "I definitely do feel older every morning when I wake up and I go into the gym. So I've just been really listening to my body and seeing how it goes, but my main focus is the 2021 Olympics, and then we'll see from there."