SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – On Monday, Team USA announced Simone Biles would return to compete in Tuesday’s balance beam final after dealing with what gymnasts call “twisties”.
Siouxland gymnasts said the “twisties” is when a gymnast suddenly cannot make the necessary spins in midair, and that can be very dangerous.
Chelon Busch is a coach at Siouxland Gymnastics Academy. She said Simone Biles’ return to action is remarkable.
“I was excited for her. For a gymnast to overcome kind of that mental block of what she was going through, it usually takes a lot of time for them just to get through that and work through that, so her coming back was really powerful for gymnasts,” said Chelon Busch.
The “twisties,” what Simone Biles suffered from that kept her out of several Olympic events, isn’t uncommon.
“It feels like you just can’t do it anymore. It just feels like you’re floating and you don’t know where you’re at or anything,” said Lexi Gilbert, a gymnast at Siouxland Gymnastics Academy.
“As far as their mental blocks go, it’s more common than people think. You know, especially on beam and bars and all of those. They’re doing all of these difficult skills and it’s very easy to forget what you’re working on,” said Busch.
Coaches say sometimes a gymnast has to go back to the basics by working on the simplest skills and climbing their way up.
“As a coach, I think just being supportive of them. Helping them work through it. Helping them do skills they can do successfully,” said Busch.
And coach Busch says, being able to see Biles return serves as a boost for young gymnasts.
“I think it’s really inspiring for the girls. Just for them to see that she, even though she had that, she can still come back and compete and win that bronze medal,” said Busch.
Biles bronze in the balance beam is her 7th Olympic medal. That ties the record for the most medals won by a team USA gymnast. Coach Busch also says there’s an inherent risk when competing in gymnastics and that’s why sometimes not competing can be the safest option.