Simone Biles Bravely Speaks Out About Mental Health: ‘I Didn’t Quit’
This week, the 24-year-old athlete addressed criticism on her Instagram Story, where she released footage of herself trying (and failing) to perform her dismount on the uneven bars.
In the video (screenshot above), Biles is practicing on the apparatus. During her dismount, the athlete gets lost in the air, abruptly hitting the mat and landing on her back.
Below the video, Biles explains her previous comments about experiencing the “twisties,” which is a mental phenomenon that results in a gymnast no longer being able to perform a trick (or tricks) she’s done hundreds of times. In this case, Biles can’t land any of her twisting moves because she’s having trouble finding the floor.
“For anyone saying I quit, I didn’t quit,” she writes. “My mind and body are simply not in sync. As you can see here.”
Although her “fall” appears graceful, it’s only because she’s landing on practice mats, which have more cushion than the competition floor. Not only is it more painful than it looks, but it also could result in a serious injury.
“I don’t think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competition surface,” Biles continues. “Nor do I have to explain why I put health first. Physical health is mental health.”
To further prove her point, Biles adds, “*I’m supposed to do 1 ½ more twists.”
The post comes a few days after Biles dropped out of the team finals at the Tokyo Olympics due to mental health issues. Shortly after, the gymnast withdrew from the all-around event, allowing Jade Carey to step in and take her place.
We stand with you, Simone.
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