This story has been updated.

Simone Biles has no doubt she can maintain the physical form required to excel at the now postponed Tokyo Olympics. But the mental challenge weighs on the world’s greatest gymnast.

Does she have the inner fortitude to grind through another year of training? To stay focused on a goal that’s now 15 months off rather than three? To sustain her greatest emotional balancing act — setting aside her mistrust of USA Gymnastics, which she says failed to protect her and hundreds of other young athletes from serial predator Larry Nassar and continues to withhold information about their abuse, while representing the national governing body on the global stage?

“Yes, I really feel like that plays a huge factor: dealing with USAG another year,” Biles, the 23-year-old reigning world and Olympic all-around champion, said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “It’s almost as if I feel like, since I have another year, something else is going to go wrong. Or [USAG] is going to do something wrong again. Maybe it’s the year for them to get it right.”

Biles publicly addressed the Olympics’ postponement for the first time Wednesday, following a silence that led some to wonder whether she was questioning going forward.

She started her morning with an interview on the “Today” show via Skype from her home just north of Houston, telling hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie that she wept when she learned, via a text message during a break in training, that the Games were being postponed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“I cried,” Biles said. “But ultimately it was the right decision. We need to make sure that everyone in the U.S. and around the world is healthy and safe.”

Speaking by telephone afterward, Biles elaborated on her process of absorbing the news and acknowledged that she considered, at least for a bit, not sticking with her pursuit of a second Olympics.

“It’s just the mental strain of going in the gym day-in day-out, day after day putting in that work going toward that goal,” Biles said. “I feel right now we’re kind of emptying our gas tank. I was so ready to have that experience in three months; now it’s pushed back another 15 months. That takes a toll on your mind.”

For months, she had looked forward to getting on with life following the 2020 Olympics.

“I was ready to see who I was as a person rather than as an athlete,” Biles said. “What other adventures I wanted to take on. To see what my other skill sets were.”

But she decided to forge ahead with training and defer those big-picture questions about life’s next chapter until the fall of 2021.

Still, even with nine days to process news of the delay and three days to reflect on the new starting date (July 23, 2021, rather than late 2020, as many gymnasts would have preferred), Biles said she wonders about the mental toll the delay will exact, testing her in ways no other gymnast has.

“I’m still struggling with that,” Biles said. “Can I actually do it? I’m not sure. The physical part is not going to be the problem.”

At 4-foot-8, Biles will be one of the biggest names among the roughly 11,000 Olympians scheduled to compete in Tokyo — a five-time Olympic medalist and five-time world all-around champion who has claimed an unprecedented 30 Olympic and world medals.

Postponing the Olympics 12 months will have an unusual impact on female gymnasts, whose competitive life span is brief.

With rare exception, obsolescence comes early in sports in which prepubescent bodies have an advantage. Gymnastics’ relentless pounding on bones and joints exacts a harsh, painful toll. Young women’s center of gravity shifts with puberty. And the most experienced, graceful gymnasts ultimately get crowded out by the next generation of fearless, seemingly weightless teens.

Biles is that exception. She not only has maintained her form from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games but has raised the level of difficulty of her skills. At the 2019 world championships, which she dominated, she had two new skills added to the sport’s Code of Points under her name — a double-twisting double-tuck dismount on the balance beam and a triple-twisting double-tuck on the floor. That brought the tally of gymnastics skills bearing Biles’s name to four.

Given her unrivaled cache of world medals and signature moves, what drives Biles to compete in 2021, when she will be 24?

“It’s just the year to do it for myself and nobody else,” Biles said. “I did it for a lot of other people in 2016 because I wanted to please other people. At the end of the day, I shared that with a lot of people. I feel like this time around, it’s just for me.”

For now, like nearly every other prospective 2021 Olympian, Biles is in a pandemic-induced hiatus from training. While her family owns the Spring, Tex., gym that is her training base, county officials ordered all gyms closed because of the coronavirus weeks ago, with a reopening date of April 30 that almost certainly will be pushed back.

She is staying fit by walking her French bulldog, Lilo, and doing workouts at home to maintain strength in her arms, legs and core muscles. She likened the current break from working on gymnastics equipment to the nearly 18-month break she took from competition following the 2016 Rio Games, a stretch in which she competed on “Dancing with the Stars.”

But no degree of home workouts can substitute for training on a vault, balance beam, uneven bars or springy tumbling floor with padded mats.

“Not having the equipment will hurt us,” Biles said. “You lose your air awareness. But as long as we are staying in shape, it should come back fairly quickly.”

Like many Americans, adhering to social distancing guidelines to limit the spread of the virus means Biles is separated from loved ones. She hasn’t seen her mother in two weeks. That’s unusual for her close-knit family, Biles said. But her mother, Nellie Biles, is maintaining the family’s Sunday dinner tradition by preparing meals for her children via curbside pickup.

Meanwhile, Biles has joined other Olympic and pro athletes in donating memorabilia to Athletes for Covid-19 Relief. In her case, she contributed an autographed leotard.

“In a crisis like this, I feel like everybody wants to jump up to their feet and help,” Biles said. “I’m glad I did it.”

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