Story at a glance

  • American gymnastics star Simone Biles is returning to the competition floor at the Tokyo Olympics.
  • The four-time Olympic gold medalist withdrew from numerous events after a shaky start due to mid-air disorientation colloquially known as “the twisties.”
  • The 24-year-old, who has won five medals in her Olympic career, told reporters following her initial withdrawal that “there’s more to life than gymnastics.”

American gymnastics star Simone Biles is returning to the competition floor at the Tokyo Olympics after a several day hiatus to focus on her mental health. 

“We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow - Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both!” USA Gymnastics said in a statement.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist withdrew from numerous events after a shaky start due to mid-air disorientation colloquially known as “the twisties.” Biles wrote in an Instagram post on Friday that it is “petrifying trying to do a skill but not have your mind and body in sync.” 


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“I don’t think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competition surface,” she continued. “Sometimes I can’t even fathom twisting. I seriously cannot comprehend how to twist.”

The 24-year-old, who has won five medals in her Olympic career, told reporters following her initial withdrawal that “there’s more to life than gymnastics.” 

“It’s very unfortunate that it happened at this stage, because I definitely wanted it to go a little bit better. Take it one day at a time and we’re gonna see how the rest goes.”

“We’re going to take it a day at a time and see what happens,” she said. “I have to focus on my mental health.” 


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USA Gymnastics has been supportive throughout, and after announcing her withdrawal from a second event the organization applauded her decision on Twitter

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many,” USA Gymnastics tweeted. 


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Published on Aug 02, 2021