Simone Biles made history twice in a row this week during the U.S. Gymnastics Championships: First she nailed a triple-double during a floor routine and then she pulled off a perfect double-double dismount, making her the first female athlete to land both moves in competition. She ended up winning her sixth all-around title, a massive milestone for the 22-year-old athlete.
Biles has been busy celebrating her legendary performances. On Monday she posted an image on Instagram that shows her looking absolutely overjoyed and captioned it, “That feeling when you make history…twice.”
But her victories weren’t the only powerful thing she did last week. In an interview before she competed, Biles addressed reports that USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee failed to protect athletes like herself from former physician and team trainer Larry Nassar, who is serving multiple lifetime sentences after being convicted of criminal sexual conduct.
After an 18-month investigation, a bipartisan Senate committee announced that both organizations “knowingly concealed abuse by Larry Nassar, leading to the abuse of dozens of additional amateur athletes from summer 2015 to September 2016,” according to a report from the Washington Post.
Before competing, she told reporters, “They couldn’t do one damn job. You had one job. You literally had one job, and you couldn’t protect us,” she said. “And it’s just really sad because every time I go to the doctor or training, I get worked on and I don’t want to get worked on, but my body hurts. I’m 22. At the end of the day, that’s my fifth rotation, and I have to go do therapy, but it’s just hard, and we try to work through it, but it’ll take some time. I’m strong, I’ll get through it, but it’s hard.”
Biles has been committed to shining light on abuses in the gymnastics world, and she’s supported other victims of assault. Last year she wore a leotard specifically to honor survivors. As she explained, “I stand with all of them, and I think it’s kind of special to unite.”