Simone Biles is trying to help fans understand why the tough decisions she's been making during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been out of her own control.
On Friday, July 30, the 24-year-old superstar gymnast took to her Instagram Story to post footage taken in Tokyo during her morning practice that showed her having trouble spinning the correct number of times on her dismounts from the uneven bars. The footage has since been deleted, but she reposted the messages she had included with the videos to describe her continued struggles with the "twisties," which has caused herself to lose awareness in mid-air.
"for anyone saying I quit, I didn't quit," Simone wrote. "my mind & body are simply not in sync—as you can see here. i don't think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competition surface. nor do I have to explain why I put health first. physical health is mental health."
She aded, "no this was not happening before I left the usa. it randomly started happening after prelims competition the VERY next morning. by that time NO an alternate was not allowed to be placed in my position for you 'know it alls.' we have 4 on a team for a reason. I chose to not continue team competition in jeopardizing losing a medal (of any color) for the girls/US. also for my own safety and health."
The athlete also made her gratitude for her coach and trainer known. "Forever thankful," she wrote on Instagram, "to have such an amazing support system by my side."
On Tuesday, July 27, Simone suffered a misstep during her first vault routine of the team final and decided to withdraw from the event. Team USA ended up securing the silver.
Later that day, her team announced Simone would not participate in the individual all-around competition in order to focus on her mental health. According to the statement at the time, the star was still deciding whether to take part in next week's individual event finals.
American gymnast Suni Lee won the gold in the individual all-around on July 29, and Simone cheered her on from the crowd with the rest of their teammates.
Similarly, Simone herself has received plenty of support and praise from numerous public figures amid this trying week, with emotional messages coming in from the likes of Aly Raisman and Michael Phelps.