Simone Biles Just Answered a Ton of Questions About ‘the Twisties’ on Instagram


When Simone Biles began withdrawing from Olympic competitions, many wondered what was going on. She later revealed she’s dealing with an acute condition that affects elite gymnasts known as “the twisties.” Essentially, this means that when Biles is twisting in the air, she’s losing track of where she is, making it nearly impossible for her to safely land on her feet. The gymnast took to Instagram Stories on Thursday, July 29, to explain more about the condition, her decision to step back from competition, and how she’s currently coping.

Answering fan questions and sharing videos from practice, Biles explained, “For anyone saying I quit: I didn’t quit, my mind & body are simply not in sync as you can see here.” She added, “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.”


To reiterate: This is not a case of an athlete not wanting to compete. Much like with a physical injury, with the way Simone Biles is feeling now, competing could cause further harm. She may want to be on the mat in Tokyo, but she can’t safely navigate her routines on those hard surfaces.


She continued, “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.”


She also quickly addressed speculation that she had reached some kind of breaking point due to the pressure of the Games, writing simply, “Could be triggered by stress I hear but I’m also not sure how true that is.”

Biles mentioned that she’s been practicing at a training facility in Tokyo with soft landing surfaces and will publicly thank that space when the Games are over.

On her Instagram grid, she posted pictures of herself with her coaches and wrote, “Forever thankful to have such an amazing support system by my side.”


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