Simone Biles is still battling with the twisties.
Record-breaking gymnast and four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles said she's "still scared to do gymnastics" due to her psychological battle with a condition known as "the twisties."
The twisties are a psychological affliction in which a gymnast can no longer judge their spatial placement in the air during acrobatic movements and become "lost" in the air, unable to tell up from down.
The twisties are a dangerous affliction for gymnasts, as losing spatial awareness mid-trick while suspended in the air makes landing extremely difficult and can lead to serious injury or even death.
Biles' experience suffering with the twisties led to her dropping out of competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic finals—a choice that brought sympathy and applause from her fans and fellow gymnasts.
In a recent interview with Today, Biles—who is currently performing in the Gold Over America Tour—announced she still has not attempted to do any acrobatic maneuvers that involve twisting.
Watch the interview here:
"I don't twist [on tour]."
"I do double lay half-outs, which is my signature move on the floor. That's never affected me. But everything else weighs so heavy, and I watch the girls do it and it's not the same."
In the interview, Today host Hoda Kotb asked Biles about her recent Senate testimony against former US gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.
Nassar was charged with sexually abusing hundreds of female gymnasts—including Biles herself.
Biles tearfully explained the toll the trial has taken on her and how it may be related to her case of the twisties.
"Over the years, after suppressing so many emotions and putting up a front on a global scene, I think really all of that came to light [at the Olympics]."
"My body and my mind allowed me to suppress all of that stuff for so many years."
She also said it has been difficult for her to not be able to do maneuvers she used to be able to perform.
"I'm proud of myself and I'm happy that I can be a leader for the survivors and bring courage to everybody speaking up, so I'm happy to be a voice for them."
"But we go through our own things, and it's hard, but the twisting...will come back. But I'm still scared to do gymnastics."
Twitter has been overwhelmingly supportive of Biles' situation.
Biles also promoted her partnership with telehealth therapy and mental health app Cerebral, an app she herself has been using to get therapy during the Gold Over America Tour.
It is unclear at this point whether Biles will be performing her twisting maneuvers anytime soon.
It seems as though she will be taking time to prioritize her mental health over her gymnastic career.
We wish you all the best, Simone!