What sounds like some odd result of a night of too much drinking, or a fun game that kids play is anything but. Simone Biles, one of the greatest athletes of her generation came down with this at the worst possible time.
Photo By: REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
What are the Twisties?
Anyone who has ever seen Markelle Fultz try to shoot in an NBA game has seen firsthand what the "yips" are. Chicago Bears fans have seen many of their kickers suffer from this in important situation. Generally, it's considered to be when an athlete forgets how to do even the most basic part of their respective sport. They have practiced the shot, kick, move hundreds of times and than all of a sudden-it's gone. Their ability to preform at the level that they have been accustomed to, that they have trained for all of their life is gone. Know one can say why it happens, but when it happens, there's not much one can do. The twisties are the gymnastics version of the yips, except far more dangerous. For a golfer, you miss a putt. For a basketball player, you miss a shot. For a gymnast, you can seriously harm yourself.
Was She Right to Pull Herself Out?
Yes, and any other line of thinking is pure selfishness that has no regard for the athlete or her health. Pulling out of an Olympic event, especially one in which your by far the best at in the world is never going to be popular. There are always going to be trolls who won't understand, but taking care of yourself and recognizing that something is off takes courage. Simone realized this in one of her routines where she was flipping through the air and didn't know where she was in her routine. Can you imagine? Doing a routine that needs exact precision avoid injury, and in the middle- just forget. Your body no longer remembers the thing you've trained for all your life, and this happened to her in the middle of the air. Thankfully, she landed. It wasn't perfect, she did stumble but she was safe. We need to recognize that athletes are people too, and lend some compassion to someone who had to make one of the toughest decisions of their life. To anyone who says otherwise, you're a selfish human.