Simone Biles recently got emotional about her experience at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo on *The Today Show—*in fact, she says she’s “still scared” to do gymnastics.
As you may remember, Biles removed herself from the gymnastics team competition at the Tokyo Olympics over the summer, citing that she needed to focus on her mental health and that her mind and body were not in sync. Biles later said she had the twisties, a condition athletes can experience when they lose air awareness that puts them at high risk for injury when they land.
Simone Biles got emotional speaking about how the twisties impacted her during a segment with Hoda Kotb on the Thursday, October 21 episode of Today. Kotb asked Biles if she still has the twisties while on the road and performing for the Gold Over America Tour.
“I don’t twist. I do … my signature moves on the floor, but that’s never affected me,” Biles replied. “Everything else just, like, weighs so heavy, and I watch the girls do it and it’s just, it’s not the same.”
Biles added, while holding back tears, “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. But it’s hard. I’m sorry. And I don’t think people understand the magnitude of what I go through.”
After Biles quit the competition, some uninformed people online called her a quitter. In response, Biles explained the twisties in detail on her Instagram story. “For anyone saying I quit: I didn’t quit, 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.”
While the twisties have been difficult, Biles is proud that she can be a leader and encourage others to be open about their mental health. “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 said. “So I’m happy to be a voice for them. But we go through our own things. It’s hard. The twisting once I got back will come back, but I’m still scared to do gymnastics.”
You can watch the interview here: