LOIC VENANCE/AFP, Getty Images
Since opting out of the all-around finals at the Tokyo Olympics this week, Simone Biles has become an open book about her mental health. She took to her Instagram Stories on July 30th to answer fans' questions about the "twisties" and what's been going on with her since arriving in Tokyo for the 2021 Games.
Biles opened up a Q&A session over on her Instagram to give her followers more insight into what she's currently dealing with. "Any more questions about the twisties?" she asked her followers.
"Yes," Biles replied to one fan who asked if she's still suffering from the twisties—a psychological issue that affects gymnasts' spatial awareness. For Biles, she "literally can not tell up from down," when she's suffering through the phenomenon. "It's the craziest feeling ever," she explained via her Stories. "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."
"Sometimes I can't even fathom twisting," she wrote to another fan. "I seriously cannot comprehend how to twist."
Biles has suffered from the twisties before, she said. However, she's never experienced the phenomenon anywhere else but the floor and vault until now. "This time it's literally on every event," she wrote, "which sucks ... really bad." When she's had the twisties before, she said it's taken her about two weeks to get over them.
As of right now, she's planning to "go back to basics" during practice and only do her routines on soft surfaces and in foam pits.
"I didn't have a bad performance and quit," Biles summed up. "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 and won silver. QUEENS!!!!"
"My mind and body are simply not in sync," she added over a clip of her performing a stunt and not being able to stick the landing. "I don't think you realize how dangerous this is on a hard/competition surface nor do I have to explain why I put health first. Physical health is mental health."
Team USA ended up bringing home silver medals, and Biles' fellow gymnast Suni Lee scored gold in the women's individual all-around. Team USA is doing incredible work on the mats while Biles is doing incredible work on social media—being open and honest about putting her health first.