Simone Biles tried for two years to forget about those strange days in Tokyo and all the noise that came with them.
She went to therapy and slowly, very slowly, started training again, even though she wasn’t sure if she was ready for a third Olympics with all the pressure and demands that come with being known as the best of all time.
She didn’t decide to train properly until mid-spring after she and her coaches talked about it over margaritas. She didn’t decide to go to the U.S. Classic on Saturday night until late June. And the noise she had been dealing with for 732 days finally stopped when she stepped up to the platform and heard the cheers of support and the sea of homemade signs.
She had returned to her safe place. Back in front of a lot of people. In charge again. Back to being Simone Biles, albeit a more grown, married, 26-year-old version of the person who has changed her sport for the past 10 years.