Simone Biles crying Today Show

Simone Biles Breaks Down Discussing Gymnastics: It “Weighs So Heavy”

Following a challenging year, Simone Biles is still struggling with her gymnastics routine.
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The 2020 Tokyo Olympics may be over, but Simone Biles is still struggling when it comes to her performance on the mat.

The Olympic gold medalist, who made headlines this summer when she removed herself from four event finals due to a case of the “twisties,” appeared on the Today show on Thursday, October 21 to discuss where she is today with the sport. 

Simone Biles on beam

While the 24-year-old is feeling better day by day, thanks to weekly therapy sessions and support from loved ones, the journey has not been easy. 

Biles Is Still Suffering From the “Twisties”

For those unfamiliar with the term, the “twisties” is a condition athletes can experience when they lose their air awareness. This happens to gymnasts and cheerleaders most frequently, as they do many stunts in the air, and can lead to serious injuries.

Though Biles began suffering from the condition over the summer, she’s still dealing with it months later. In fact, host Hoda Kotb asked Biles if she’s been forced to change her routines while performing on the road for the “Gold Over America Tour” happening across the country.

“I don’t twist. I do … my signature moves on the floor, but that’s never affected me. Everything else just, like, weighs so heavy, and I watch the girls do it and it’s just, it’s not the same,” the gymnast shared.

“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 then said through tears.

“But it’s hard. I’m sorry. And I don’t think people understand the magnitude of what I go through.”

It’s Been an Emotional 2021 For Biles

Along with her mental health struggles, Biles has also been forced to confront the abuse she and countless other gymnasts suffered from former US Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2018. 

Shortly after the Olympics, Biles and a few of her teammates spoke at a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing addressing the FBI’s mishandling of Nassar’s case.

Simone Biles Tokyo

While the moment was extremely difficult, Biles is grateful she was able to use her voice for good and speak up for other survivors of abuse.

“For so many years, to go through everything that I’ve gone through, put on a front, I’m proud of myself and I’m happy I can be a leader for the survivors and bring courage to everybody speaking up,” Biles explained.

“So I’m happy to be a voice for them. But we go through our own things. It’s hard.”