The gym at Juntendo University will always hold a special place in Simone Biles‘ heart.
For it was there the 24-year-old gymnast privately trained after withdrawing from the women’s gymnastics team final at the 2020 Olympics.
“I’ll forever be thankful for Junetendo for allowing me to come train separately to try to get my skills back,” she tweeted Aug. 4. “The Japanese are some of, if not the sweetest people I’ve ever met.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, the university’s professor Kazuhiro Aoki received a call on July 28 asking if Biles could practice at the school away from the spotlight.
“This is a complicated matter,” he was told, per the publication. “But this is for Biles.”
The call reportedly came 12 hours after Biles performed her vault routine and removed herself from the women’s gymnastics team final—citing a case of the “twisties,” or midair disorientation, and a need to focus on her mental health as her reasons for withdrawing. The U.S. women’s gymnastics team won the silver medal.