Simone Biles’ participation in the upcoming apparatus finals in Tokyo is in doubt after she admitted she is suffering from the ‘twisties’, a term given to gymnasts suffering from a ‘mental block’ ahead of competition.
Biles, 24, who is considered by many to be among the finest gymnasts of all time, had announced in recent days that she was withdrawing from the team and all-around finals in the Tokyo Games – a move she said was made to safeguard her mental health.
However, the American was expected to compete in four individual apparatus finals, starting Sunday, but has stoked rumors that her participation in Tokyo could be over after she expressed hesitation about her ability to perform, telling fans online that she is experiencing a form of mental block.
On her IG stories, Simone Biles responds to people who think she “quit” on her team by explaining the “the twisties” she’s been experiencing and what it feels like “not having your mind and body in sync” …. pic.twitter.com/79hN973rkd
— Kimberley A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) July 30, 2021
“I seriously cannot comprehend how to twist,” Biles announced during a social media Q&A session with fans on Friday.
The four-time Olympic champion uploaded footage to Instagram which shows her struggling to land a dismount from the uneven bars, failing to land on her feet in two attempts she uploaded to the social media platform.
She also told her supporters that she has suffered from the ‘twisties’ before – but never has it impacted all four aspects of the apparatus as she says she is currently experiencing, and added that it can take as long as two weeks to overcome the mental block she says she is experiencing.
“It’s never transferred to bars and beam before for me. It strictly likes vault and floor… the hardest two. But this time it’s literally on every event. Which sucks… really bad.
“It’s honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind and body in sync. I don’t think you realize how dangerous this is on a competition/hard surface.
“Literally cannot tell up from down… I also have NO idea where I am going to land,” she continued. “Or what I am going to land on. Head / hands / feet / back.”
Biles added that the most effective way of overcoming the funk she finds herself in is to go back to basics and practice on soft surfaces in a bid to regain her confidence – but it seems that Biles’ continued participation in this summer’s Games is accompanied by a very significant ticking clock ahead of Sunday.
Biles’ admittance that she is struggling in Tokyo comes just days after she announced that she was pulling out of the Olympics all-around competition in a move designed to allow her to “focus on her mental health“, according to a statement from USA Gymnastics.
“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many,” they added.
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