turmoil in the world of gymnastics last week, as Simone Biles dropped out of one final after another. The great American gymnast was full of doubts, put mental health on the agenda and complained about dangerous fluctuations. However, she did not want to end her Olympic career in this way and decided to take part in balk. Why is she taking a risk?
Simone Biles qualified for all of the hardware finals, but pulled out for vault, bridge and ground. In the days following her retirement, she spoke openly about her doubts and put the mental health of athletes on the agenda.
But Biles doesn’t want to disappear from the scene and end her Olympic career that way. On the crossbar, she wants to show her skills for the last time and maybe even get her fifth gold medal.
Serious fluctuations? No longer body and mind 1
During this challenging period, Biles frequently suffers from “sprains,” which means his indoor GPS no longer works while doing gymnastics. There are a lot of jumps in the muscle memory of gymnasts, but those with “sprains” experience a kind of disconnection between the body and the brain, such that the body in the air suddenly becomes out of control.
“It feels crazy,” she said. “Usually it only happens to me in jumping and land, which are the scariest devices. But now I also experience that with the beam and the bridge.”
“It’s terrifying to try a jump or exercise when your mind and body aren’t the same. It could be stress, but I’m not sure.”
Why on the bar? Less chance of sprains
“Biles didn’t make a floor because twists could cause problems there, which is much less than the case on the crossbar,” says Karl Vannieuwkerke’s father, Nina Derwell. So beam is a relatively safe option.
“On Earth you have a lot of ups and downs and a lot of complexity. Especially with someone like Simone Biles creating combinations that some guys just can’t handle.”
“It also happens in the sport of trampolines,” co-commentator Dirk van Eser adds. “Athletes do it there regularly, because a lot of movements and quick cycles come one after the other. And it happens that you have to build again because you can no longer perform the movements automatically.”
On Earth you have a lot of ups and downs and a lot of complexity. Especially with someone like Simone Biles who puts on combos that some guys just can’t handle
Simone Biles concluded: “I don’t think a lot of people realize how dangerous it is to suddenly lose control in the air. And I don’t want to continue to respond to the fact that I have prioritized my own safety and health. Health is just as important as physical health.”
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