Superstar gymnastdefended his decision to withdraw from on her Instagram story Thursday night, explaining that she’s still struggling with so-called “twisties” and that she doesn’t know if she’ll be able to compete in individual competitions scheduled for next week.
This week, Bilesboth the team final and the women’s individual at the Tokyo Games to focus on her . Team USA won silver in the team event, and teammate Biles won individual gold – the fifth straight American woman to do so.
Opening up to Instagram stories overnight, Biles, a, answered questions from her fans about a condition gymnasts call “twisties” – a frightening state of dissociation that prevents athletes from succeeding in a skill, which can lead to serious injury.
“I can’t even imagine the twist. I really don’t understand how to twist,” Biles wrote on Instagram, trying to explain what the twisties are like. “The strangest, the strangest thing and the feeling.”
Biles said during her training this week she failed the moves she was supposed to perform in competition. She said she had been affected in all devices, “which sucks… really bad.”
Biles added that she has experimented with twisties before and “it’s not fun to deal with.” She said they started performing after the preliminary round earlier this week.
“It’s honestly petrifying to try to do a skill but not have your mind and body in sync,” she explained. “10/10 do not recommend.”
“I literally can’t see the top from the bottom. It’s the craziest feeling there is. Not having an inch of control over your body,” she continued. “What’s even scarier is that 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. Head / hands / feet back… “
Biles also continued to defend his decision to withdraw from the competition for his own safety.
“I didn’t have a bad performance and I quit. I had a lot of bad performances throughout my career and I finished competing,” she said. “I got so lost my safety was in jeopardy as well as a team medal.”
“I don’t think you realize how dangerous it is on hard / competition surfaces,” she added. “I also don’t have to explain why I put my health first. Physical health is mental health.”
Biles qualified in all six women’s gymnastics finals – team, all-around, vault, uneven bars, beam and floor. It is not known if she will compete next week.
“Usually for me it’s usually been two weeks or more when I’ve had them before,” she said of the timeline. “Honestly, no delay, something you have to take literally day in and day out, in turn.”
USA Gymnastics said Wednesday that Biles will be assessed daily to determine if it is safe for her to make the final next week.