Simone Biles says her “mind and body are simply not in sync” and insists she “didn’t have a bad performance and quit” as she answered questions about what has gone wrong for her at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Gymnastics’ biggest name hinted that the so-called ‘twisties’, where athletes lose all perspective of where they are in the air, is still a problem for her in training and will not confirm whether she will play any further part in the Games..
Biles withdrew from the USA’s team competition earlier this week after one vault, and then missed the all-around competition. Instead she cheered her American team-mate Sunisa Lee to gold from the stands.
‘I should have quit way before Tokyo’ – Biles on mental health and ‘twisties’
The four-time Olympic champion has been widely praised for putting her mental health first and she is still scheduled to take part in the beam, floor, uneven bars and vault finals. But in an Instagram Q&A, she admitted she has experienced the ‘twisties’ before and says it typically takes her a fortnight to fully get over it.
'I didn't want to cost the team a medal' - Biles explains why she pulled out of team event
"It's honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind & body in sync," she wrote.
Typically for me it’s usually two or more weeks when I’ve had them before. Honestly no telling/time frame, Something you have to take literally day by day, turn by turn.
"By the way, it's never transferred to bars & beam before for me, it strictly likes floor and vault. Go figure, the scariest two. But this time it's on literally every event. Which sucks...really bad."
- Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: Schedule, key events, every medal and more
- 'Biles is inspiring people with gymnastics and so much more'
- ‘I’m more than my accomplishments’ - Biles sends message of thanks following withdrawal
Explaining what it feels like to have the ‘twisties’, Biles wrote: “Literally can not tell up from down, 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/feed/back…”
Biles seemed to be happy answering questions on the issues she is currently trying to get over, but took issue with people who accused her of giving up.
“I didn’t quit my mind and body are simply not in sync. I don’t think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competition surface, nor do I have to explain why I put health first. Physical health is mental health.”
Biles is next due in action on Sunday in the vault final, before the beam later in the day.
Watch every unmissable moment live from Tokyo 2020 across Eurosport, the Eurosport app and discovery+. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.
'I wouldn't change it for the world' - Biles proud of Olympics struggles
Biles surprised by family as gymnast makes emotional return home after Olympics
Share this article