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Simone Biles 'Still Scared to Do Gymnastics' After Withdrawal From Tokyo Olympics

Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
 2021-10-21

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Simone Biles shared her struggles in returning after her bouts with "the twisties" in Tokyo.

Simone Biles detailed her difficulty returning to gymnastics following her withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics and said she is "still scared to do gymnastics."

Biles withdrew from Team USA's team gymnastics final in Tokyo in July, noting her "mind and body are simply not in sync." Biles explained that she was suffering from the "twisties," which caused her to lose the sense of where her body was in the air while performing various twisting skills. Biles said Thursday she is still experiencing the issue as she returns to the sport.

"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 on NBC. "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, 24, is a four-time Olympic gold medalist. She was among the four American gymnasts to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in September during a hearing on sexual abuse allegations against former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar . Biles criticized both USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee during her testimony, placing blame on both Nassar and "an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse."

“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse,” Biles said . "The scars of this horrific abuse continue. The impact of this man's abuse will never be over.

"We have been failed and we deserve answers. It really feels like the FBI turned a blind eye to us."

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