‘I Don’t Think People Understand the Magnitude’: Simone Biles Tearfully Admits She’s Still Hesitant to Do Gymnastics Following Abuse

Simone Biles is going through a shift when it comes to gymnastics.

The most decorated gymnast opened up on NBC’s “TODAY” show about how her experience with having the “twisties” made her apprehensive about doing gymnastics.

Simone Biles (@simonebiles)

Currently, the Gold Over America Tour is taking place featuring Biles and gymnasts from the all-star team. The ladies showcase their athletic abilities in the show and are touring in different cities across America. Biles said in her performance she still gets the “twisties,” resulting in doing her signature move, which is the double layout half-outs.

“I watch the girls do it and it’s just, it’s not the same,” she said right before tearfully explaining that, “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 the sport so much.” The 24-year-old even said that she’s “still scared to do gymnastics.”

During the Tokyo Olympics, Biles shockingly pulled out of a few events due to what she described as being mentally unprepared to perform. She later also revealed that she was experiencing the “twisties,” which, according to NBC Olympics, is “a phenomenon in which gymnasts experience a disconnect between their mind and body when hurtling through the air.”

For the past few years, Biles has been speaking out about mental health following her experience of being sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics national team doctor. Three hundred people came forward starting in 2016 accusing Nassar of sexually assaulting them. In 2018, he pled guilty for his crimes and was sentenced to 90 years.

While he may have faced justice, Nassar’s inappropriate behavior is still a traumatizing memory, as expressed by gymnasts. “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 — 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,” Biles expressed.

As for techniques that she likes to do to help with her mental health, she said, ‘I love to take my daily walks, I think fresh air is very good for me.” She added, with a chuckle,, that she does “social media decompresses,” and “a little retail therapy.”

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