‘America hates me’: Simone Biles opens up about the ‘twisties’ in Tokyo

Simone Biles recently expressed her apprehension about returning to the United States after withdrawing from a gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics due to experiencing the “twisties.”

The renowned 27-year-old gymnast, holding the title of the most decorated athlete in the sport with an impressive collection of 37 world and Olympic gold medals, opened up about the immense pressure she faced from both domestic and international audiences when she made the decision to step back from the team final during the 2021 Games.

In an exclusive preview of her interview with the Call Her Daddy podcast, slated for release on Wednesday, Biles revealed her inner turmoil during the event, fearing backlash from her home country and global spectators. She recounted feeling overwhelmed by negative sentiments she anticipated seeing on social media platforms.

Biles made headlines worldwide when she struggled with her vault routine, leading to her withdrawal from both the team and individual all-around finals. Her actions ignited discussions about mental health and the intense demands of elite sports.

She described the “twisties” phenomenon, where a gymnast loses their sense of spatial awareness mid-air, rendering them unable to gauge their landing accurately.

Despite the challenges, Biles managed to compete in the beam final, earning a bronze medal, which she considers a significant accomplishment in her illustrious Olympic journey.

Reflecting on her emotions at the time, Biles admitted to contemplating leaving the country, fearing repercussions for not securing a gold medal, a sentiment she believed was commonly held in the competitive arena.

While her participation in the upcoming Paris Olympics remains uncertain, Biles has hinted at her desire to compete, emphasizing her aspiration to pursue that path.

Having returned to elite competition in 2023 after a two-year hiatus, Biles reclaimed her dominance by clinching an eighth individual title in the U.S. before securing her sixth world all-around title shortly after. Her next appearance is scheduled for the U.S. Classic in Hartford, Connecticut in May.

As anticipation builds for the Paris Olympics, set to commence on July 26, Biles continues to captivate the world with her remarkable journey in gymnastics.