Simone Biles is taking it “day by day, turn by turn” as she struggles to overcome the “twisties” at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Yesterday, she opened up her Instagram story to questions from fans regarding the condition and answered the most pressing concerns about the twisties, her performances and her future in the Olympics.
Previously, during Tuesday’s competition, Biles attempted a 2.5 turn during her vault routine. However, she could only complete 1.5 before she landed early. While in the air, Biles experienced the twisties in which she lost the ability to sync her body’s movements with her mind’s awareness. This can be extremely dangerous for gymnasts because they are unable to safely prep themselves for landing.
Unfortunately, this is not a one-time occurrence. Having the twisties is like having a bad cold. There’s no telling when it will recede. That’s why Biles decided to withdrawal from the all-around competition in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Instead, teammate Suni Lee competed in her place and scored gold.
In addition to answering questions, Biles also posted two videos of herself practicing mid-air turns on uneven bars. Below her are a couple of mats placed upon a foam pit. Rather than nailing a two-turn somersault, Biles gets a half-turn in the first video before dropping on her back. In the second video, she gets a bit closer with a 1.5 turn.
Since then Biles took down the videos, presumably to protect the privacy of the non-Olympic facility that let her practice her tricks. However, for the short time that they were up, fans could witness the mental and physical impact that the twisties had on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics gymnast.
2020 Tokyo Olympics Athlete Explains Danger of Gymnastics
In contrast to what some viewers believe, Simone Biles assured fans that she did not back out of the competition because of poor performance. Having the twisties is actually extremely dangerous for gymnasts.
Instead of those soft, cushy foam cubes in her practice videos, when actually competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Biles faces a hard, unforgiving surface. Landing the wrong way can cause serious injury, especially when unable to control your body’s movement.
“I don’t think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competition surface,” Biles wrote in her Instagram story. “It’s honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind & body in sync.”
She continued, “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.”
Former gymnast Jacoby Miles concurs the dangers of the twisties. Eight years ago, the athlete experienced the twisties. She broke her neck on the landing and is now partially paralyzed.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder Biles is taking her recovery from the twisties one day at a time. We think we speak for all her fans when we say we would much rather she be safe than sorry.