Simone Biles, Simone, Olympics discussed on The Daily
You know. Going into this olympics. Simone was different. You can tell that something. Something was off. She was giving fewer interviews and during the interview. She did give after the events leading up to the games. They're very short. Maybe ten minutes on zoom. It was totally unlike her. I did manage to talk to her about a week before she left for tokyo and it was unlike any other conversation i've had with her. What did she say. I asked her looking back on your career. You know what is the happiest moment just trying to trying to warm her up for the interview and and she gave me a quite a surprising answer she said honestly was during my time off. She said you know my ankles really hurt hurts to walk. I'm tired i'm old. The sport has taken a toll on my body. I really want to find out who i am. And so is like the tokyo olympics could not get here quick enough not only to start but for them to end so that's how she was feeling before the games start. Walk me through. What happens when she starts to perform well. Everyone is looking for simone to do what she's done in the past. So here we go. Simone biles getting ready on floor exercise first routine of the tokyo olympics and she does too moves on the very first day of competition. No one else in the world has ever done it. She had shocking floor exercise where she flew right off the competition carpet and slid down the raised part. Step off the floor with both feet. That's a three tenth deduction but then on the balance beam. She also stumbled out of the landing steps backward and then was making all sorts of faces and of pulling at the front of her leotard. It just looked like the simone was totally distracted by something and it didn't look good but everyone was saying that by the time the real finals came around that the simone biles that we all know would return that she would be the same great gymnasts that we've been seeing for over a decade the greatest of all time. But there's no question. No female gymnast in history has ever taken this event on like simone biles now. I don't so on the team final day. Which is her first chance in the. Us teams. i chance to win a medal. Simone biles goes on her first event. Which is the vault. It doesn't matter what she does. It's it's a show stopper and it's must see tv. She's supposed to do flip with two twists off the vault which is difficult vaults but other gymnasts jewett so to simone biles. It should be super easy. She starts to do it. She pulls out of it mid air. Wow ends up doing a one and a half and nearly crashing to the ground. She catches herself steps. A couple of steps forward very uncharacteristic vault for simone but if look like she got almost lost in the air in the arena. We don't know what is going on. Because this is not what simone biles is supposed to do. The beauty of simone biles as gymnast and her natural ability mid perhaps her greatest natural ability in the sport is to know exactly where her body is in space. And that's if that's something that she she was good at when she was six and suddenly simone biles at twenty. Four is at the olympic games in mid air. She has no idea where the ground is. And nobody knows why as it turned out. It's actually a phenomenon in gymnastics called the twisties and gymnast and also divers liken it to sort of a disconnect between the brain and the body where the brain wants to do something and the body just completely forgot how to do it completely has never has never twisted or flipped before i saw one tweet that had actually a very good description of it. It's sort of like driving on the highway and you're trying to do a tricky merge onto a busy street and you completely forgot how to drive a car near brains trying to make you do it but your hands and your feet don't know what to do and for simone byles she's in mid air and can't figure out how many twists she has left. Where's the ground at my twisting fast enough and as soon as you start over. Thinking in a sport like gymnastics which has no pretty much no margin for error. It could be disastrous so juliet. What happens after she falls short. In that volt event simone walks off the mad after her vault consults with the team doctor and her coach and walks out of the arena. Completely few minutes later she comes back out. She has her grips on your hands for the uneven bars. She's talking to her teammates and suddenly everybody starting to cry later. We find out that. That's the moment that snowmobile said can't do this. I'm done. i've been all the time if you guys can do this. I don't want to jeopardize a medal for you. You guys take it from here. And how unusual is that coaches have. I've talked to many coaches about this. They haven't seen this decades in the sport. And i can say that i in my eleven olympics. I have never seen any athlete. Who's going to be winning the gold. Who is so much farther ahead of all of her. Other competitors like simone biles is say you know what it's not my day today. I'm going to step back. And what does she say about why she stepping down. She said that she just wasn't in the right head space to continue and that she feared for her physical health because of it she said gymnastics is such a hard sport such a mental sport that you need to be one hundred percent focused to not hurt yourself and simone biles is doing these these signature skills that nobody else can do. That are so very dangerous that if you are not focused one hundred percent. There's a chance of severe injury so she decided to take care of herself and let her teammates takeover. You know until now. The story of simone biles has been really the story of triumph right. Someone who embodies. What olympic athletes do in the face of these really incredible hardships which is just power through it with striking about this moment to me is that she saying for the first time. I'm not going to power through it. Yeah in the past. She has power through it. Even when she was struggling in two thousand eighteen she had a ended up going to the emergency room in doha the night before team qualifying at world championships because she had kidney stones. The check yourself out that night so the next day she can go and qualify her team and herself for the finals. In the face of larry nassar she decided to stay with the sport. Stay on usa gymnastics. But she's doing something that nobody ever would expect of an american gymnasts which is really on the biggest stage at the most crucial moment for her and her teammates decide that her mental health was worth more than the olympic gold medal that she had dreamed of as a kid so i think that she's.