Simone Biles Still Battling 'Twisties' 'Scared To Do Gymnastics'

It's been over two months since the Olympics, but Simone Biles says she's still dealing with the "twisties" ... adding that she's straight-up "scared to do gymnastics"

Biles was hit with the issue in Tokyo in July -- explaining to her followers at the time that a mental block was preventing her from controlling her body while doing her most famous mid-air stunts.

Biles pulled out of multiple events due to it all ... though most figured she'd be able to return back to normal after a break.

But, in an emotional interview Thursday morning with "Today" show host Hoda Kotb ... Biles said she still can't fly through the air like she used to.

"It's not the same," the 24-year-old said, fighting back tears. "To do something that I've done forever, and just not be able to do it because of everything I've gone through is really crazy because I love this sport so much. It's hard. I'm sorry."

She added, "I'm still scared to do gymnastics."

Biles has been performing in the Gold Over America Tour the past few weeks ... though she said she's kept her routines simple and has avoided any twisting.

The gymnastics legend, though, said she's sure her tricks will "come back" eventually ... telling Hoda in the meantime she's happy to "be a leader for the survivors."

"I'm happy to be a voice for them," Biles said. "We go through our own things. It's hard."

As for her future in the sport, it's unclear if Biles is intending to continue her Olympic career ... she's yet to commit to taking part in the 2024 Games in Paris.

Agnes Tirop Olympian's Alleged Killer Arrested

3:07 PM PT -- 10/14 -- Authorities in Kenya say they've caught the person suspected of stabbing Tirop, claiming it was the man who she had been in a relationship with.

According to law enforcement, Ibrahim Rotich stabbed Tirop to death and then went into hiding.

Officials say Rotich then attempted to flee the area in a getaway car, but wrecked his ride while trying to escape -- and was eventually caught by authorities.

Police say Rotich is now "being grilled by detectives" at a local station ... and he's later expected to be arraigned on murder charges.

Story developing ...

Agnes Tirop, an elite Kenyan long-distance runner who finished 4th at the Tokyo Olympics, was tragically found stabbed to death in her home, according to a Kenyan athletic commission.

She was only 25 years old.

According to reports, police are actively looking for Agnes' husband who hasn't been seen since her death.

The BBC is reporting Agnes' father called police Tuesday night, worried he could not reach his daughter.

Sadly, when police arrived at her home in Iten, Kenya, they found Tirop laying in bed, surrounded by a pool of blood, according to the UK outlet.

Police say the runner had what looked like a stab wound to her neck ... and that's what they believe caused her death. She also reportedly had a stab wound to her stomach.

Agnes' husband was not at the home when they arrived ... and has not been heard from since authorities arrived on the scene.

Tirop was one of the best long-distance runners in the world. In fact, just last month she set a women's world record at a 10-kilometer race in Germany. Agnes also took home bronze medals at the World Athletic Championships in 2017 and 2019.

"Athletics Kenya are distraught to learn about the untimely death of World 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop," the country's athletics body said in a statement.

Everyone from Adidas to Kenya's president weighed in on the tragic loss.

"It is unsettling, utterly unfortunate and very sad that we've lost a young and promising athlete who, at a young age of 25 years, had brought our country so much glory," Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya's president said in a statement.

"The Adidas family is deeply saddened by the tragic news about Agnes Jebet Tirop. Agnes was an incredible person, a record-breaking athlete and a beloved member of our family. She will be greatly missed by us all and her legacy will forever live on in our memory," the sportswear giant tweeted.

Rest in peace.

Originally Published -- 10/13 3:37 PM PT

Tom Daley Opens Up On Bulimia Battle In 2012 I Was Told I Was Overweight

Olympic gold medalist diver Tom Daley says he was pressured to lose weight in order to perform better in 2012 ... claiming it was "hammered" into him that he was overweight.

The 27-year-old British diver opened up about his eating disorder this week ... saying he would make himself throw up and constantly weigh himself in order to maintain a smaller figure.

Daley -- who won bronze at the 2012 and 2016 Games before earning gold in Tokyo this summer -- says it's always been hard for him as a man to open up about his eating disorder, he revealed to The Guardian.

Daley says it's challenging as an athlete to talk about his struggle with body image ... because let's face it, most people would love to have his body.

"You have these body issues as an athlete. Lots of people would look at athletes and be like, 'What are you talking about? You’re an athlete, you’re in shape, you have nothing to worry about.'"

Daley says the pressure to lose weight didn't come from the media or Internet trolls -- it was his peers in the diving community.

"My body image [issues] came from within my sport – it was hammered into me that I was overweight and needed to lose weight in order to perform."

Clearly, whoever said that has egg on their face now -- Daley was at the top of the podium in the 2020 Games ... and is leaving the door open to return to Paris in 2024.

U.S. Olympian Klete Keller Pleads Guilty To Felony Admits Participation In Capitol Raid

U.S. Olympian Klete Keller admitted he spent nearly an hour in the U.S. Capitol building on January 6th, pleading guilty to felony obstruction of an official proceeding ... and now faces years in prison.

Remember, 39-year-old Keller -- a 2x gold medalist and former teammate of Michael Phelps -- was caught on video inside the halls of the capitol during the raid.

In fact, KK was wearing a Team U.S.A. jacket ... which helped others identify him once the footage was posted online by reporters.

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Keller, who was hit with 7 charges stemming from the incident, appeared in person at a Washington D.C. District Court and pled guilty to the obstruction charge.

It's a charge that could carry decades in prison ... however, it's likely Keller ultimately gets sentenced to about 2 years in federal prison.

While addressing the court, Klete said he tried to erase all traces he was present at the raid, admitting he destroyed his phone and threw away the jacket he was photographed wearing.

Keller represented America as part of the U.S. Swim Team at the Olympic Games in '00, '04, '08. He was the anchor on the 4x200 meter freestyle relay team in 2004 ... and famously held off Australian superstar Ian Thorpe to narrowly secure the top spot on the podium.

Simone Biles Gets Emotional Testifying About Larry Nassar ... On Capitol Hill

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2:26 PM PT -- Former ballerina Grace French, who was molested by Nassar at a young age, says she fully understands the emotion Biles went through while bringing up old, painful memories during her testimony Wednesday.

"It brings up a lot each time that this happens," Grace told Harvey and Charles on "TMZ Live." "Even if you aren't there or you aren't testifying yourself."

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Grace explained she's hoping Biles -- and the other women -- who spoke in D.C. can finally help bring about some accountability when it comes to sexual abuse cases.

"It's ridiculous that the only person in jail right now is Larry Nassar when there are so many systems that were holding him up and allowing him to continue that abuse for decades," Grace said.

"It's not just one bad apple. It's a system and processes and procedures that are not in place in order to protect our athletes and in order to protect our kids."

Simone Biles broke down while testifying about Larry Nassar in front of a group of senators on Capitol Hill ... choking back tears while explaining how U.S. Gymnastics and other agencies failed her and other abuse victims.

Biles, along with fellow former USA gymnasts McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman, told their stories in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington D.C. on Thursday ... and understandably, it's still an incredibly difficult topic to discuss.

"I am also a survivor of sexual abuse," Simone opened her statement, continuing, "and I believe without a doubt that the circumstances that led to my abuse and allowed it to continue are directly the result that organizations created by Congress to oversee and protect me as an athlete, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee failed to do their jobs."

Biles then quoted Nelson Mandela, before getting emotional while saying she never wanted another child to endure abuse.

Of course, Nassar was convicted of sexually abusing hundreds of women and girls ... and effectively received life in prison -- getting sentenced to 175 years behind bars.

But, the hearing wasn't directly about Nassar's deplorable behavior ... it was held to discuss the FBI's failures with respect to their investigation into the team USA doctor, after a government watchdog group concluded the country's top federal law enforcement agency didn't adequately respond to the allegations.

And, the gymnasts didn't hold back when taking on the bureau.

“We suffered and continue to suffer because no one at FBI, [U.S. Gymnastics] or the [USOC] did what was necessary to protect us,” Biles told the committee.

“We have been failed and we deserve answers. Nassar is where he belongs, but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable. If they are not, I am convinced that this will continue to happen to others across Olympic sports.”

"This is the largest case of sexual abuse in the history of American sport," Biles told the committee, adding, "It truly feels like the FBI turned a blind eye to us."

Maroney also went in on the FBI, saying ... "They had legal, legitimate evidence of child abuse and did nothing."

The U.S. gymnasts are still testifying on Capitol Hill.

As for Nassar, he's rotting in prison ... where he will remain for the rest of his life.

Originally Published -- 9:18 AM PT

Tom Brady, Simone Biles We're So Influential ... Named To Time 100 List

Winning Super Bowls and Olympic medals works wonders for your clout ... 'cause Tom Brady and Simone Biles are on Time's list of most influential people once again.

Of course, the esteemed list highlights the biggest activists, innovators, athletes and artists each year ... and in 2021, several sports stars were honored with the recognition.

Joining TB12 and Biles are Team USA gold medalist Suni Lee, tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, USA track legend Allyson Felix and L.A. Angels pitcher/slugger Shohei Ohtani.

Biles also graces one of the 7 different covers for the magazine ... which features a touching writeup from Serena Williams on the gymnast's highly publicized mental health battle at the 2020 Tokyo games.

"What she embodies truly reflects the endless potential of Black women." Williams says. "I wish I had her to look up to when I was younger and trying to realize my dreams."

"By living her truth so loudly and by championing mental health, she is setting new standards of beauty, strength and resilience, breaking down today’s image-obsessed stereotypes and encouraging others to do the same."

"Simone is a shining example of what success looks like when you let go of what the world thinks and gather your strength from yourself ... from your soul."

Biles has clapped back at her haters multiple times after backing out of the team competition at the Olympics ... but now that one of the GOATs has spoken, that may silence them once and for all.

WWE's Paul Heyman I Deserve All The Credit For Gable Steveson's Success

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"I am personally responsible for all of Gable Steveson's right business decisions in his life and his gold medal and his Hodge trophy and his NCAA Division 1 Heavyweight championship."

Welp, that's wrestling legend Paul Heyman claiming ALL credit for everything positive the newly signed WWE superstar has done, telling Adam Glyn he's been behind it all.

"I had everything with Gable Steveson winning the Olympic gold medal. I arranged for Gable Steveson to train with Brock Lesnar at the University of Minnesota, which helped Gable Steveson win the NCAA Division 1 Heavyweight championship. Then he used my strategy to win the gold medal in the Olympics."

FYI, Gable won gold in Freestyle Wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics.

Heyman -- currently the special counsel for WWE Universal champ, Roman Reigns -- worked with Lesnar for years.

Of course, 21-year-old Steveson had a bunch of options after the Olympics ... but opted to sign a contract with WWE.

So, how does Heyman think Gable will fare in the squared circle?

"Now, we'll see how he does in WWE. He's not at quite the level of a Ronda Rousey or a Brock Lesnar, certainly not of the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns."

"So far, Gable Steveson understands to listen to the wise man and he's doing alright with that counsel."

Gable Steveson Olympic Hero Signs With WWE ... 'Childhood Dream!!!'

WWE is makin' a splash of its own ... 'cause it just signed 21-year-old Olympic gold medal winner Gable Steveson to its roster!!

"WWE today announced it has signed Olympic gold medalist and reigning NCAA wrestling champion Gable Steveson to an exclusive agreement," the company said.

"In the company's first-ever NIL deal, Steveson will join the WWE roster while defending his NCAA title for the University of Minnesota."

Of course, Steveson had a TON of options in addition to World Wrestling Entertainment ... multiple NFL teams reached out to Gable, and UFC honcho Dana White told us a few weeks back he planned on meeting with the Olympic hero as well.

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Gable will still wrestle in college ... but it's unclear if the other options are now off the table, or if Steveson could also fight MMA if he so desires.

Either way, Steveson was PUMPED to officially put his pen to WWE paper ... saying Thursday, "Childhood dream accomplished.. I have  officially signed with the @WWE!!! Thank you for the opportunity!! LETS WORK"

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As for how WWE stars will welcome him ... it seems it'll be with open arms -- 'cause just a few weeks ago, Seth Rollins told us he'd be down to train the Olympian!

Unclear when Steveson will make his in-ring debut ... but put your popcorn on standby ASAP.

Simone Biles Shuts Up Critics ... 'I Can't Hear You Over My 7 Olympic Medals'

Simone Biles is clapping back at her critics yet again ... this time shutting them down in savage fashion by saying, "I can't hear you over my 7 olympic medals."

Biles -- apparently still hearing from trolls for the way she pulled out of several events at last month's Tokyo Olympics -- posted the fiery message on social media over the weekend.

In the commentary, accompanied by a photo of the silver and bronze medals she won at this summer's Games, Biles insisted she is not a quitter.

"Can't believe it's already been a month," Biles said. "Definitely not the way I planned the Olympics going but I wouldn't change anything for the world 🤎."

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"I'm proud of myself and the career I've had thus far. this Olympics doesn't erase the past accomplishments I've achieved nor does it define who I am as an athlete."

Biles continued, "I've pushed through so much the past couple years, the word quitter is not in my vocabulary. for some of you that may be how you define me but keep talking because I can't hear you over my 7 Olympic medals which tied me for the most decorated gymnast EVER as well as most decorated American gymnast."

As we previously reported, Biles said a mental block was caused her to have the "twisties" while competing in Tokyo.

The issues were so bad for the 24-year-old gymnast, she called them "petrifying" and feared she could hurt herself by competing.

Biles eventually came back to the floor and won bronze in the balance beam ... an accomplishment she later said meant "more than all of the golds."

Simone Biles Surprises Suni Lee's Father With New Wheelchair ... Amazing Video!!!

Simone Biles has proven yet again that her G.O.A.T. status extends far off the gymnastics floor ... 'cause she just helped gift her Olympics teammate Suni Lee's father with a new wheelchair -- and the amazing gesture was all captured on video.

24-year-old Biles surprised Suni's dad, John, on the "Today" show on Wednesday with the present ... revealing a new, state-of-art electronic ride with a sweet video message.

"Hi, Mr. Lee, it's Simone," Biles told John before showing him the present. "I love your daughter, Suni, so much and I know how much she loves you."

"You have done so much for her so I reached out to my friends at the 'Today' show to see if we could do something special for you. Hope you like it!"

John -- who was paralyzed from the chest down in 2019 after falling off a ladder -- was thrilled with the gift ... shouting, "Oh, wow!" when he first put his eyes on it.

The new wheels are a significant upgrade from John's manually operated wheelchair ... with the "Today" show saying the souped-up ride will eventually be custom-fitted for all his needs.

John said the new chair with make his and his family's life much easier ... adding, "This is amazing. Thank you, guys!"

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Houston Texans Add Simone Biles' BF To Practice Squad ... After Cutting DB

10:03 AM PT -- 9/1 -- Owens will get to stay in Houston with Biles after all ... the Texans have added the defensive back to their practice squad after cutting him.

The move means Owens will not officially be a part of Houston's game day rosters ... though it does pave the way for him to potentially join the active squad at a later date this season.

Simone Biles' romance with Jonathan Owens may need to go more long distance than usual this football season ... 'cause the Houston Texans have just cut the gymnast's boyfriend.

The Texans made the move in paring down their roster to 53 on Tuesday ... which is, of course, sad news considering how smitten Owens and Biles appeared to be in Houston.

You'll recall ... the two athletes began dating about a year ago, and have formed a great relationship while living together in Texas.

The couple has been spotted out in Houston often ... with Biles famously attending a bunch of Owens' Texans practices after she returned from the Tokyo Olympics earlier this month.

Owens is now a free agent ... and any team could sign him and potentially pull him away from Texas.

There is a chance, however, Owens could stick around the Texans' org ... he's eligible to be a part of the team's practice squad -- and it actually seems likely he'll end up there, given he had a role on the Texans' P.S. last season.

Either way, we're betting the couple's relationship will power through it all regardless ... 'cause the two have been inseparable since getting together in 2020.

In fact, Biles just celebrated the pair's 1-year anniversary earlier this month ... joking on social media, "so happy past 1 year to the best thing that’s ever happened to you: ME."

Good luck, J.O.!

Originally Published -- 8/31 1:50 PM PT

Naomi Osaka Gifts Olympic Pin To Young Fan ... Thanks For Cheering!!!

Naomi Osaka just made one young fan's day at the U.S. Open on Monday ... by gifting her a collectible Olympics pin as a "thank you" for showing so much support during her first-round match!!

The 23-year-old superstar advanced to the second round after winning in straight sets just hours ago ... and the little girl was cheering for her the entire time!!

Osaka -- who had an early exit from the 2020 Olympic Games -- said she had a few trading pins left over from her time in Tokyo ... so she decided to give an extra to her biggest fan in the stands!!

FYI -- Olympic pin trading is a tradition that goes back more than a hundred years ... with athletes, reporters and fans all swapping the little items during the Summer and Winter Games.

Osaka was asked about the gesture in her post-match interview ... saying, "I just heard her when I was playing my match and she was so cute."

"So, thank you for cheering me on!"

The camera then showed the fan smiling from ear-to-ear -- at least, we're assuming, 'cause the whole mask situation -- and waving back at Osaka.

"I thought it would be a nice little memory," the #3-ranked player added.

As for the match, Osaka beat Marie Bouzková 6-4, 6-1 ... and will face off against Olga Danilović on Wednesday.

Usain Bolt Tyreek Hill Can't Beat Me In A Race ... Willing To Bet Gold Medal

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Usain Bolt isn't mincing words, flat-out telling TMZ Sports that Tyreek Hill can NOT beat him in a race ... and he's fully willing to prove it on the track!!

And, he'll even risk one of his 8 Olympic gold medals.

We spoke to the 35-year-old track legend -- the fastest man EVER -- about his (good-natured) beef with the 27-year-old KC Chiefs superstar ... and straight-up asked Bolt how the race would go.

"For me I still think I would get him in 40 [yard dash]" ... adding, just to be safe, he'd like the race to be a bit longer -- something like 70 yards.

Somewhat surprisingly, Usain -- who retired in 2017 -- says he'd have to ramp up his training before racing Hill.

"I definitely gotta train. He's been working out. I work out too, but I would have to step up my training."

Bolt added ... "Remember, I retired for a while, so I still gotta get my legs going again, know what I mean? I still got speed, but I gotta get it going."

FYI, Hill -- aka Cheetah -- is considered by many to be the fastest player in the NFL.

In fact, Tyreek reportedly ran a 4.29 in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day ... and has allegedly clocked a super-impressive 10.19 in the 100m.

With that said ... Bolt holds the world record in the 100m -- having run a blazing fast 9.58 seconds in 2009.

As for having some skin in the game ... Usain says he doesn't believe Hill would have the you-know-whats to put his Super Bowl LIV ring on the line.

"I don't think he would [risk his SB ring]. He has one. He's probably scared."

Olympics Star Suni Lee Bringin' Her Talents To The Dance Floor ... I'm On 'DWTS!!!'

Olympics star Suni Lee showed she can win with her moves on the beams, uneven bars and gym mat ... but can she do the same on the dance floor???

Well, we're about to find out ... 'cause the Team USA gold medalist announced Monday she's going to compete in the upcoming season of "Dancing With The Stars!"

"I'm so excited," the 18-year-old gymnast said. "See you all on the dance floor!"

Unclear who will be in the rest of the field dancing against the Olympian -- the full lineup is expected to be announced next month -- but ya gotta figure the gymnast will be a big favorite to win The Mirrorball Trophy.

After all, she KILLED IT in Tokyo ... winning the gold medal in the all-around competition, silver in the women’s team competition and bronze in the uneven bars.

Not sure how well that all translates to the salsa or the waltz -- but, hey, it can't hurt!!

FYI, this won't be the first time a gymnast competes on "DWTS" --- in 2016, Laurie Hernandez won the competition ... and, in 2017, Simone Biles finished fourth.

The dance-off starts Sept. 20 ... good luck!

Paralympian Ibrahim Hamadtou Plays Table Tennis W/ Mouth, Foot Arms Amputated After Childhood Train Accident

This is amazing/inspiring/uplifting ... you pick the word.

Egyptian Paralympian Ibrahim Hamadtou lost both his arms after a terrible childhood accident, but the 48-year-old table tennis player didn't let the tragedy stop him from achieving incredible athletic feats competing in the Paralympics.

The way Hamadtou plays would be unbelievable if it weren't on video. He serves the ball by holding it with his right foot, flinging it in the air ... he then uses his mouth to hold the bat (paddle).

Spin, power ... Hamadtou's game has it all.

FYI, Ibrahim competes in Class 6 ... made up of athletes with severe impairments to arms and legs.

He played South Korean Park Hong Kyu on Wednesday in Tokyo ... and lost in straight sets. But, that doesn't begin to tell the story ... his will and determination inspired people across the world.

The Egyptian -- who also competed in Rio in 2016 -- lost both his arms in a train accident when he was 10 years old.

Last year, Hamadtou explained why he was initially motivated to start playing ping pong.

"I was in the club where I was officiating a match between two of my friends," Hamadtou told the International Table Tennis Federation.

"They disagreed on a point when I counted the point in favor of one of them the other player told me, do not interfere as you will never be able to play. It was that statement that fired me up to decide to play table tennis."

Sydney McLaughlin Engaged To Former NFL Player ... 'The Perfect Man!!!'

Team USA star Sydney McLaughlin is rockin' more than just an Olympic gold medal around her neck ... she's also wearing an engagement ring on her hand after her boyfriend proposed -- and she said "YES!!!"

The 22-year-old sprinter revealed the awesome news on Wednesday -- penning a beautiful love note to her future hubby, ex-NFL receiver Andre Levrone.

"I fall in love with you more and more each day off of the strength of your faith," McLaughlin said on Instagram.

"Andre, you are the most God-fearing, passionate, honest, loving, hard working, protective, and genuine man I’ve ever met."

Unsure how long the two have been dating but the couple went IG official when Levrone shared a photo of them together in December 2020.

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"The calling God has on our lives goes far beyond our love for one another. This union will impact lives for His kingdom, and that’s what excites me most."

"You're the perfect man to lead me, and I cannot wait to follow."

Of course, McLaughlin just got back from the Tokyo Olympics, winning the gold and setting a record time of 51.46 seconds in the women's 400 meters hurdle.

Her fiancé is also an athlete -- the 26-year-old WR entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2018 ... and played for the Ravens, Jaguars and Panthers before retiring in September 2020. He's currently a project engineer.

Congrats!!

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