Simone Biles Shuts Down Critics After Event Exits, Opens Up About Battling Twisties Since Olympics Start

Simone Biles said she began experiencing what she called "twisties" after the women's gymnastics qualifying event

Simone Biles is opening up about her mental health struggles, specifically feeling "lost in the air" during routines.

On Thursday, the gymnast, 24, shared clips of her at practice in Tokyo. Biles' videos were also captioned with her response to those who believe she "quit" the Olympics when she chose to withdraw from the team all-around final after her first apparatus and declined to compete in the individual all-around last night.

"For anyone saying I quit. I didn't quit, my mind & body are simply not in sync as you can see here," Biles wrote. "I don't think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competition surface nor do I have to explain why I put health first."

The two-time Olympian added, "Physical health is mental health."

Simone Biles
Simone Biles.

"I didn't have a bad performance & quit," Biles asserted again. "I've had plenty of bad performances throughout my career and finished the competition. I simply got so lost my safety was at risk as well as a team medal. Therefore the girls stepped up and killed the rest of the competition & won silver QUEENS!!! Hence why we have 4 team members bc ALLLLL of us can compete in team meet. Not just me."

Simone Biles
Simone Biles. Simone Biles/Instagram

In her second clip, Biles wrote, "No this was not happening before I left the USA," and "It randomly started happening after prelims competition the VERY next morning."

"By that time NO an alternate was not allowed to be placed in my position for you 'know it alls,' " she shared. "We have 4 on a team for a reason. I chose to not continue team competition in jeopardizing losing a medal (of any color) for the girls/US also for my own safety and health."

Then, Biles answered fan questions during a Q&A session on her Instagram Story. "Do you still have them," a fan asked. "Yes. Unfortunately so. Those videos were taken this morning @ practice," Biles responded.

"Do you feel off sync for non twisting flips too?" another fan asked.

RELATED VIDEO: Aly Raisman Says Simone Biles Had 'Way Too Much Pressure' on Her After She Withdraws

"Honestly kind of.. but def better than if I try to twist. Sometimes I can't even fathom twisting. I seriously cannot comprehend how to twist," Biles replied. "Strangest & weirdest thing as well as feeling."

"Is it worse on a certain apparatus?" one follower asked. In response, the decorated athlete said, "Btw it's never transferred to bars & beam before for me. It strictly likes floor & vault go figure the scariest 2. But this time it's literally on every event. Which sucks... really bad."

Biles also spoke to a fan about "twisties," which is a phenomenon gymnasts experience where they lose their understanding of where they are in the air, putting them at risk of injury when they land. The gymnast said for her, she "literally can not tell up from down. It's the craziest feeling ever. not having an inch of control over your body. 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."

"Have you ever experienced twisties before?" the Instagram user asked.

Simone Biles
Simone Biles / Instagram

"I have experienced them before. They're not fun to deal with. It's honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind & body in sync. 10/10 do not recommend. *could be triggered by stress I hear but I'm also not sure how true that is," Biles said.

Biles also clarified that there's no set timeframe that the "twisties" go away, but in the past, it has sometimes taken her two weeks to overcome the sensation.

"Something you have to take literally day by day, turn by turn," she wrote.

To a fan who asked if Biles would still participate in her upcoming Gold Over America gymnastics tour, the superstar athlete wrote back, "No more twisting for me on tour hahaha simple fix but unfortunately in my Olympic routines I do a ton of twists on each event."

Biles also said that to be safe while continuing to practice that she's been "going back to basics," and training on soft surfaces at a local place in Japan with a foam pit that she promised to give a proper shout-out to at the conclusion of the Games.

To learn more about Team USA, visit Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.

Related Articles