Simone Biles Reveals She’s ‘Still Scared To Do Gymnastics’

by : Hannah Smith on : 22 Oct 2021 15:42
Simone Biles Reveals She's 'Still Scared To Do Gymnastics' Alamy/Today

Simone Biles has revealed she’s still suffering from the ‘twisties’ and is unable to perform many of her gymnastics moves, more than two months after withdrawing from several Olympic events.

During an appearance on the Today show, Biles explained she’s ‘still scared’ to do many of her routines that involve twisting, and has had to adapt her performances at the recent Gold Over America Tour to avoid doing aerial moves that involve rotating.


‘I don’t twist, I do double layout half outs, which is my signature move on the floor, but that’s never affected me. But everything else just, like, weighs so heavy, and I watch the girls do it and it’s just, it’s not the same,’ she said.


The twisties are a phenomenon in gymnastics that involves a sudden loss of spatial awareness while in the air. Biles withdrew from a number of events in Tokyo 2020, citing the need to put herself and her mental wellbeing first rather than risk competing in a potentially dangerous situation.

Her decision received widespread praise, with several athletes calling her an inspiration. However, as Biles told the Today hosts, she’s continuing to struggle with the fallout.


‘To do something that I’ve done forever, and just not be able to do it because of everything I’ve gone through is really crazy, because I love this sport so much. But it’s hard,’ she said as she teared up. ‘I’m sorry. And I don’t think people understand the magnitude of what I go through.’

Simone Biles (Alamy)Alamy

‘For so many years to go through everything that I’ve gone through, put on a front, I’m proud of myself and I’m happy that I can be a leader for the survivors and bring courage to everybody speaking up,’ she continued, referencing her previous comments on her decision to compete at Tokyo 2020 as the last remaining active US gymnast to have been sexually abused by convicted child sex offender and former team doctor Larry Nassar.

When asked whether she had any regrets over her decision to continue, Biles said, ‘I wouldn’t change anything for the world. I think everything happens for a reason,’ having said earlier in the interview, ‘I’m grateful that it didn’t happen to anyone else, and that it was me, because I’m strong enough to get back on my feet.’


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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: Sport, Gymnastics, Mental Health, simone biles


  1. TODAY/Twitter

    “I don’t think people understand the magnitude of what I go through.”