Simone Biles revealed she’s still suffering from “the twisties” — a disorienting condition that forced the gymnast to withdraw from events during the Tokyo Olympics — in a new interview with the Today show. “I’m still scared to do gymnastics,” Biles admitted.
“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,” Biles said. “It’s hard. I’m sorry. And I don’t think people understand the magnitude of what I go through, but for so many years to go through everything that I’ve gone through having a front, I’m proud of myself.”
Biles added that the lingering dark cloud over the U.S. gymnastics program — former trainer and convicted sex offender Larry Nassar and the Olympic committee’s handling of the situation — also impacted her in Tokyo.
“Over the years, after suppressing so many emotions and putting up a front on a global scene, I think all of that came to light,” Biles said. “My body and my mind allowed me to suppress all of that stuff for so many years, for as long as it could take, and as long as we stepped on the Olympic scene, it just decided it couldn’t do it anymore and it cracked.”
Biles also talked about testifying in front of a Senate judiciary hearing investigating the Nassar scandal. “To go through something like that and to be a voice for all of the survivors and people who want to come forward and talk about their stories, it’s really inspiring,” Biles said. “But it’s hard that I have to go through it, because again people form their own opinions and I don’t really get to say what’s going on.
Biles appeared on the Today show to promote her appearance in the Gold Over America Tour — where, unencumbered by “the twisties” that plague her in other events, she delivers a mat routine — as well as her support for a health and telemedicine app called Cerebral, which has helped her on the road.
“Getting the mental health therapy that I need has been really, really good for me, especially being on the road and being on tour,” Biles said