Perhaps the biggest superstar of the U.S. Olympic team, the best scaffolding athlete of all time, Simone Biles left Tuesday in the middle of the Tokyo Olympic scaffolding team final.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Gymnastics Federation announced that Biles, 24, will also not participate in Thursday’s women’s quadruple finals.
Biles said Tuesday he needs to put his mental health first.
He stated that he was not injured in his failed jump in the team competition, but was caused by mental stress that had become too great.
- We fully support Simon's decision and cheer for his courage to put his own health first.
He showed with courage, once again, why there is a role model for so many, the U.S. Gymnastics Association tweeted on Wednesday.
Biles said Tuesday after his retirement that already in rehearsals, his problem was “twisties”.
There is no clear translation of the term twisties in Finnish, but probably the best term is the horror of movement used in Finnish species circles.
According to CNN, twisties is a slang word for gymnastics for fear, as is “mental block,” which could be translated as a mental lock.
Read more: Correspondent's comment: America did not allow Simone Biles to fail - did the superstar become a victim of glow?
According to the official website of the Olympics, the gymnastics superwoman has suffered from similar problems before, as in preparation for the Rio Olympics 2016 and before through 2019. In Rio, Biles eventually won four Olympic golds: in the quadruple match, team competition, main floor and jump.
- In early 2019, I suddenly forgot how to make threads and volts, Biles said in 2020.
Simone Biles (right) continued to rejoice in the success of his teammates after his own retirement.
The U.S. eventually won silver from the team competition as the Russian Olympic Committee team won gold.
Photo: Cao Can / Xinhua / Zuma / MVPhotos
Biles ’teammate from the Rio 2016 Games, Laurie Hernandez, has been interviewed on the Olympics website.
According to Hernandez, the scare typically strikes when doing difficult trick elements, especially on the jump and on the main floor.
Then it is difficult to break down the performance that the gymnast is trying to perform.
- The rhythm is missing and your brain seems to hang for half a second, which is enough to ruin the whole trick.
When that happens, it can take a second, and you can get over it again, Hernandez described.
Read more: Simone Biles broke the silence - this is how she justified her dramatic solution: “I have to put my mental health first”
Another ex-gymnast from the U.S. team, Aleah Finnegan, shared a dread on Twitter.
- I have experienced twisties since I turned 11. I can't even imagine what it's like to be afraid of coming in competitions, Finnegan wrote.
- Then there is simply no control over the body and what it does.
The more you psyche yourself, the worse it becomes.
Usually, in their exercises, gymnasts can practice tricks on a “fire pit” filled with foam or other soft surfaces, as Finnegan mentioned in his tweet.
Safe platforms relieve the athlete’s dread and fear of serious injury when fear states strike.
Of course, they are not used in competitions, nor are they part of the training conditions in Tokyo, says the official website of the Olympics.
- I, too, have had a movement disorder before.
I hated it, it was painful.
It makes you feel like you’re not an athlete of the caliber you really are, Rio gold medalist Hernandez said.
For example, gymnasts in such a foam pool can practice tricks safely, though not in Tokyo.
Picture from Tampere SuperPark.
Photo: Ossi Ahola
A statement from the U.S. Gymnastics Federation announcing Biles ’withdrawal from Thursday’s quadruple squad said Biles is now focusing on his mental endurance.
His participation in next week’s rack-specific finals will be decided later.