Simone Biles‘ decision to withdraw from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics was met with encouragement but also a lot of criticism. Earlier this week, Biles said that she was bowing out due to mental health struggles. In a recent Instagram post, she revealed that besides protecting her mind, she also had to protect her body.
Biles posted a video on her Instagram story of her performing a twisting dismount on the uneven parallel bars and instead of landing on her feet she landed on her back. She said she started having difficulties after the preliminary rounds and felt that her “mind and body are not in sync” and that it is a “petrifying” feeling. Biles is experiencing something called the “twisties,” where you lose control of your body while in the air and twist when you didn’t intend to. The 24-year-old went on to describe feeling like she “can’t fathom twisting” right now.
“I don’t think you realize how dangerous this is on hard, competitive surface,” she said.
She added that she “literally cannot tell up from down” while in the air.
“It’s the craziest feeling ever. Not having an inch of control over your body. What’s even scarier is since I have no idea where I am in the air I also have NO idea how I’m going to land, or what I’m going to land on. Head/hands/feet/back.”
She said she has experienced this before and it took two or more weeks for the “twisties” to end.
If Biles remained in the Olympics and didn’t successful carry out her moves, she risked seriously injuring herself. The four-time gold medalist said she isn’t willing to risk her safety or the women’s team another gold medal.
“I’ve had plenty of bad performances throughout my career and finished the competition. I simply got so lost my safety was at risk as well as a team medal.”