By IVAN THOMAS-HICKS
Simone Biles commented on a video of a fellow gymnast falling headfirst on the mat to demonstrate how bad her disorienting case of the twisties got at the Tokyo Olympics.
“This happened more times than I would’ve wanted in practice at the games,” Biles tweeted Wednesday in response to resurfaced footage of France’s Émilie Le Pennec at the 2002 Junior European Championships.
The person who originally posted the clip described Le Pennec’s fall as “an obvious case of the twisties,” in which gymnasts lose their orientation in the air during maneuvers. “And I guarantee something similar would have happened to Simone had she continued,” the person wrote.
Biles pulled out during the team all-around final in Tokyo, citing concerns about her mental health. She later withdrew from five individual finals.
After decamping to a secret gym to practice away from scrutiny, she returned to win bronze on the balance beam.
Biles was open about her struggles throughout the Games, and was cheered by fans worldwide. At one point, she shared a video of herself in training.
“I don’t think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competition surface,” she wrote.