In Summary"To do something that I've done forever and just not be able to do it because of everything I've gone through is really crazy, ‘cause I love this sport so much.”
Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, 24, said she’s still struggling in gymnastics after she experienced the “twisties” at the Tokyo Olympics.
In an interview on TODAY on Thursday, Biles said she’s “still scared to do gymnastics” as she goes on her Gold Over America Tour.
“I don’t twist [on tour]. I do double lay half-outs, which is my signature move on the floor. That’s never affected me,” Biles said. “But everything else weighs so heavy, and I watch the girls do it, and it’s not the same.”
The twisties are a mental block where the gymnast loses track of their positioning midair.
“To do something that I’ve done forever and just not be able to do it because of everything I’ve gone through is really crazy, ‘cause I love this sport so much. It’s hard, I’m sorry. And I don’t think people understand the magnitude of what I go through,” Biles said.
During the Tokyo Olympics, Biles withdrew from the women’s gymnastics final and the individual all-around competition, citing her mental health.
“I didn’t want to go into any of the other events second-guessing myself,” she said at the time. “So, I thought it would be better if I took a step back and let these girls go out there and do their job.”
The last few months have seemingly been rough for Biles. In addition to the twisties, her aunt unexpectedly died two days before she won a bronze medal at this year’s Olympic games.
In September, she testified before the Senate, saying the FBI failed her and other gymnasts in their investigation into former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who sexually abused them.
“We suffered and continue to suffer because no one at FBI, USAG or the USOPC did what was necessary to protect us,” she said. “We have been failed and we deserve answers.”
Biles, considered the greatest gymnast of all time, has won seven Olympic medals.