Biles Training ‘Turn by Turn’ at Undisclosed Gym to Get Back Into Games, but Time Is Against Her
Somewhere in Tokyo, in a gym full of large, super-soft landing mats, Simone Biles tries to get her Olympic Games back on track and works “day after day, turn by turn” to drive away the “twisties”.
But America's greatest gymnast seems to run out of time if she wants to compete in Japan again.
Biles, the four-time Olympic champion, was the most talked-about athlete at the Tokyo Games after dropping out of the team competition after the opening jump and then deciding not to defend her all-around title from Rio.
On Thursday evening, she addressed her 6.1 million fans on Instagram directly to explain what the problem was and what she did to resolve it. Typically, the woman who led the fight against abuse of young gymnasts had nowhere to hide.
The now-deleted post on Instagram Stories contained a few training videos showing Biles trying and failing to land exercises on the uneven bars during Thursday's training. She commented on the videos herself, explaining what's going wrong, that she's no longer in control of her twists, and has no idea how she's going to land when she's in the air.
“For anyone who says I've stopped, I haven't stopped. My mind and body are just out of sync, ”she wrote.
Biles' problems with the Olympics, which she says didn't start until after the preliminary rounds in Tokyo, were a big talking point in both Japan and at home in the US had made the only possible decision. They said that "the twisties" - when a gymnast loses her sense of air - doesn't really mean the golfer's "yip"; Given the inherent risks in sport, it can be disastrous.
After asking questions from her 6.1 million Instagram followers, Biles said suffering from twisties was "the weirdest and weirdest thing."
"I literally can't tell the difference between above and below," she said. “It's the craziest feeling ever. Literally not an inch of control over your body.
"What's even more frightening is that 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, head / hands / feet / back ..."
Sunisa Lee, Simone Biles, trainer Cecile Landi and Jordan Chiles cheer while Grace McCallum competes in the floor tournament.
The 24-year-old could still attend the one-on-one events in Tokyo, which begin Sunday, but she said she needed special facilities - pits full of thick, soft mats - to be able to exercise safely. "There is one place in Japan that was kind enough to open the doors for me to work out," she wrote, without naming the gym in question, but promised to thank them when the games were over.
Time is not on their side. Biles said she had previously suffered more from the twisties, on the floor and in the jump than in all four disciplines, and it took her some time to recover.
"Usually it's usually two weeks or more for me if I've had them before," she wrote. "Honestly, nothing to say ... timeframe something that you literally have to take day after day, turn after turn."
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