Simone Biles will compete in Tuesday's balance beam final at the Tokyo Olympics after withdrawing from the all-around competition and three other event finals. USA Gymnastics confirmed Biles would take to the beam as well as teammate and gold medalist Suni Lee in a tweet Monday, writing that it couldn't "wait to watch you both!"
Biles withdrew from the Olympic competitions following the team finals vault, the first event, last week, explaining she was suffering from the "twisties," in which gymnasts feel like they get lost in the air, saying that her "mind and body are simply not in sync." USA Gymnastics said Biles would continue to be evaluated every day to make decisions about the event finals.
We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow - Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both!— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) August 2, 2021
Friday, Biles took to Instagram to address her condition, saying that after becoming disoriented in her initial vault and nearly falling on the dismount, she had "no idea" how she landed on her feet in general, preventing herself from possibly serious injuries. "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 shared on social media. "Literally can not 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 am going to land. Or what I am going to land on. Head/hands/feet back…."
Biles addressed critics of her decision to withdraw from previous events, "I didn't quit; my mind and body are simply not in sync." She continued, "I don't think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competition surface," she added. "Nor do I have to explain why I put health first. Physical health is mental health." The gold medalist added that she had "had plenty of bad performances throughout my career and finished the competition," but in this instance, she had "simply got so lost my safety was at risk as well as a team medal."
When addressing a possible timeline for her return, Biles said there was "no telling/time frame," but that previous instances of the twisties had taken her two or more weeks from which to recover. She withdrew from Monday's floor final on Sunday, and the team initially said her status for the last event, balance beam, was unclear at the time.