American gymnast Simone Biles made headlines at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when she suddenly decided to withdraw mid-ways through the competition due to “mental issues”. Her withdrawal created quite a stir on social media as a number of celebrities and sportstars criticized her for decision.
Biles was criticized for putting herself ahead of her country. There was also a lot of criticism from the fans who felt that if she wasn’t mentally prepared for the Olympics, she should have opted out and given her place to someone else.
Biles stayed relatively silent throughout all the criticism but would later comeback towards the end of the Olympics and win a bronze medal.
The 24 year old Olympian is one of the most decorated gymnasts in America with 4 gold medals, 1 silver and 2 bronze. She recently opened up about her struggles and said that she was battling “mental health issues” two years prior to the Olympics.
Biles admitted that she was one of those athletes that were abused by serial abuser and former USA gymnast doctor Larry Nassar who is now facing charges for his crimes. She said that she thought about quitting before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics a number of times because it was difficult to live through the trauma as Nassar’s crimes came to light.
However she decided not to quit and pursue her goal of competing in the Olympics as she did not want to give Nassar the satisfaction of killing her dream. Biles said that she started training when she was 6 years old and decided that she would push herself as long as her body and mind allowed her to do so.
Twisties Hits Her Mid Olympics
Biles had things under control as the Olympics started but midways through the competition she got hit with the ‘twisties’. Gymnasts use the term ‘twisties’ to refer to the breakup of communication between the mind and the body. She could no longer get her body to cooperate with her mind and had no option but to withdraw from the Olympics.
Her fans and critics could not understand what she was going through because she just did not know how to reconnect her body and mind. Biles said that at times she does get upset thinking about what happened but overall she has made peace with her decision.