“I Freak Out a Little”: Overcoming Twisties Trauma, Simone Biles Nervous About Paris Olympics 2024

Published 12/19/2023, 2:45 PM EST

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The 2021 Tokyo Olympics were feared to be the last time Simone Biles took on the Olympic stage. Facing the “Twisties,” a mental phenomenon that causes gymnasts to lose a sense of physical orientation and sometimes even cognitive acuity, mid-air Simone Biles withdrew from most of the events on the biggest world stage. However, 2023 saw her make the ultimate comeback. But that does not mean lingering fears have been allayed.

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In a recent revelation, as the seven-time Olympic medalist Biles prepares for the Paris Olympics 2024, she opened up about overcoming the traumas of the “Twisties” and her nervousness going back to the Olympic stage.

Simone Biles touches upon the lingering traumas of the past

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According to Porter, Simone Biles opened up about her return from the “Twisties”. She admitted that, at one point, she doubted if she would ever compete in gymnastics again, but as she prepares for the 2024 Paris Olympics, she is doing so with a newfound perspective. Biles expressed, “Although I freak out a little at the beginning of every Olympic cycle, I’ll have to remind myself that I’m fine when the clock hits 2024.”

This statement came with profound insights shared by the most decorated gymnast, who not only revealed that her training for the upcoming Olympics was going well but “beyond that, too—I’m equally excited to advocate for mental health and other causes I believe in.” This revelation followed a detailed account of how she overcame the traumas of the past.

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How Biles was able to overcome the challenges

Simone Biles told Porter that after the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, she started by hitting the gym just to have fun and see if she could still do certain moves. With the support of her team and family, she regained the confidence to compete at a high level. A main goal for the prodigy was mental health, and she shared how she opened up about how regularly going to therapy and feeling proud of taking care of her mental well-being became her main priority.

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Talking about the pressure of being in the public eye since she was 15, Simone Biles expressed, “I really wanted to be more active in my family life, to see my friends more, and be more present”. Reflecting on her growth, Biles acknowledged learning that it’s acceptable not to be precisely where one expects to be at a given moment in life.

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As Simone Biles eyes the biggest stage in the sporting world once again in 2024, she takes lessons from 2023 to incorporate the freedom of allowing things to unfold naturally, sharing, “While there are plans to be made, I’ll try to take some of the freedom of just seeing what happens into 2024, too, because it served me well this year.”

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Written by:

Christaline Meyers

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One take at a time

Hello there! I'm Christaline Meyers, a Olympics Sports Writer for Essentially Sports. As an ardent lover of the sporting world, I've found my home in the dazzling world of Gymnastics, where elegance meets athleticism in gravity-defying routines. But my passion doesn't stop there; I'm a sports enthusiast with a taste for the wild waves of surfing, the adrenaline rush of Alpine Skiing, and the street-smart moves of skateboarding.
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Edited by:

Himanshu Sridhar

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