Simone Biles said her “mind and body are simply not in sync” in an Instagram post Friday morning while going more in depth about the issue that she says has plagued her since she arrived in Tokyo for the Olympic Games.
Earlier this week, Biles withdrew from Thursday’s individual all-around competition at the Olympics to focus on her mental health. The decision came after Biles also withdrew from the team final after one rotation on vault.
Biles posted a video of her during practice on the uneven bars on Friday morning in which she tries a 1½ twist and falls flat on her back.
“I don’t think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competitive surface,” she commented along with the video.
Biles had a disastrous vault in the women’s team final Tuesday. She seemed to get lost in the air — a phenomenon called “the twisties,” which can cause serious injuries to gymnasts who perform airborne routines. It usually takes some time before the gymnasts can get over the twisties.
This was not happening before she left the U.S, Biles said, adding that “it randomly started happening after prelims competition the very next morning.”
Biles also answered several questions from fans, revealing that she is still dealing with the twisties as of Friday morning, adding, “Sometimes I can’t even fathom twisting. I seriously cannot comprehend how to twist. Strangest and weirdest thing as well as feeling.”
Biles said she has experienced this phenomenon in the past, but it usually shows up only in floor and vault and lasts two or more weeks. “It’s never transferred to bars and beam for me, but this time it’s literally on every event. Which sucks. Really bad,” she added.
When asked what it feels like while twisting, Biles said, “Literally cannot 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/feet/back.
“I also have no idea how I landed on my feet on that vault because if you look at the pictures and my eyes you can see how confused I am as to where I am in the air. Thankfully I landed safe enough but I also don’t think some of you realize I was supposed to do a 2½ and I only completed 1½ twists before it looks like I got shot out of the air.”
In a final Instagram post, she reiterated that she didn’t quit because of a bad performance. “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.”
On Thursday, Biles, along with her USA teammates, cheered on Suni Lee, who won gold in the individual all-round event.