Mental health and high competition: can they coexist?
In a series of Instagram stories, Simone Biles shared videos, which have since been deleted, of her struggling with her dismounts on the uneven bars and answering questions about having the "twisties," a mental block in gymnastics where competitors lose track of their positioning in the air.
Biles, who retired during the team final at the Olympics and then retired before the end of Thursday's all round, is scheduled to compete in all four individual events of jump, barbell, balance beam and floor exercise.
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Biles said the recent "twisties" attack began the morning after preliminary competition.
The athlete said that she had already been affected by this type of problem in the past, and stated in a post: "But it has never affected me on the bars and the beam. She strictly likes the floor and the vault."
But then he added, "but this time it's literally at every event. It sucks ... it's really bad."
Biles posted two videos, which have now been removed, of her on the uneven bars, showing her struggle with the dismount.
In the first video he says that he had to make a turn and a half more in his dismount.
Instead, the video shows her landing on her back on the mat.
Another video shows another teardown, in which he said he still had another half turn to complete, and he falls to the mat in apparent frustration.
She said the videos were taken on Friday morning in practice, and also said in another post, "It's honestly scary trying to do this act, but not having your mind and body in sync."
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Biles said that getting rid of the "twisties" "varies over time" and for her it usually lasts two or more weeks, adding that it is "something you have to take literally day by day, turn by turn."
Regarding the horse jumping during the team final, Biles says he has "no idea" how he landed on his feet "because if you look at the photos and my eyes you can see how confused I am as to where I am in the air."
"I decided not to continue the team competition by jeopardizing the loss of a medal (of any color) for the girls / Americans also for my own safety and health," said Biles.
The women's jump and bar finals are scheduled for Sunday, the women's floor final is Monday, and the beam final is Tuesday.