Star United States gymnast Simone Biles will compete in Tuesday’s balance beam final at the Tokyo Olympics after she withdrew from the all-around and team competitions, along with two individual events to focus on her mental health.
She will join Sunisa Lee — who won gold in the all-around — in the beam final, which was confirmed by USA gymnastics on Monday.
“We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow,” its statement read. “Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both!”
The 24-year-old four-time Olympic gold medalist admitted that she was suffering from “the twisties” which began last week during the team event final — forcing her to withdraw after the first event, the vault.
Biles explained on social media last week that the “twisties” are a sensation in which a gymnast feels lost while in the air.
“My mind and body are simply not in sync,” she wrote on an Instagram post. “I don’t think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competitive surface. Literally cannot tell up from down. It’s the craziest feeling ever. Not having an inch of control over your body.
“What’s even scarier is since I have no idea where I am in the air I also have NO idea how I’m going to land, or what I’m going to land on. Head/hands/feet/back.”
“I also have no idea how I landed on my feet on that vault because if you look at the pictures and my eyes you can see how confused I am as to where I am in the air,” she continued. “Thankfully I landed safe enough but I also don’t think some of you realize I was supposed to do a 2½ and I only completed 1½ twists before it looks like I got shot out of the air.”
Biles will return to the balance beam where she won bronze at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. She also is a three-time world champion in the event.