Simone Biles wants you to know: she withdrew from several events at the Tokyo Olympics for a valid and serious reason.
Biles returned to the Olympic competition Tuesday morning in time for one last competition: the balance beam final.
She secured a bronze medal with a dazzling performance after withdrawing from the team final last week and later pulling out of the four earlier individual events: all-around, vault, uneven bars and floor exercise.
Biles pulled out of those events after experiencing the “twisties” on a vault in the team final last Tuesday, later explaining the affliction – familiar to gymnasts – as her mind and body being “not in sync” and causing her to get lost in the air.
After claiming her bronze, Biles and other U.S. gymnasts appeared on TODAY for an exclusive interview that focused on Team USA’s performance in Tokyo and the discussion surrounding mental health this Olympics.
Biles address the many misconceptions people had about her mental health and was asked what she thought the biggest misconception of her and her condition was.
“That I was at no risk and mental health isn’t a serious issue,” Biles said. “That it was basically a cop-out. The girls saw me in training and my coaches saw me in training, I physically couldn’t do it safely. It’s because I was getting so lost in the air.”
This story originally appeared in NBC Chicago by Logan Reardon