CNN was granted access to the Tokyo gym where Simone Biles was secretly training for her Olympic return.
Biles relocated to Juntendo University’s Ogawa Gymnastics Arena the day after withdrawing from the all-around team final due to mental health problems.
In a piece that aired Thursday, CNN’s Will Ripley said that she practiced there in solitude “for hours on end attempting to get over this ailment that gymnasts call the twisties, that disconnect between their mind and body.”
“She was trying to do things that she wasn’t able to do, she was really trying to figure out what was wrong,” Wataru Kawai, a gymnastics coach at the university, told the network. “She was very different. It looked like she was suffering. I was hoping I could do something to help her.”
Biles withdrew from the rest of her Olympic individual finals, but returned on Tuesday to win bronze on the balancing beam.
“If we were even a small part” of getting Biles back on her feet, Kazuhiro Aoki, a professor at the institution, which is about an hour from the Olympic park, told CNN, “I think that was a great success.”