Simone Biles Was A Sucker

She was convinced the jumps she was attempting made sense… until they didn’t

Doug Harris

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Simone Biles Competing in Japan (Newsweek)

I feel sorry for Simone Biles, the gymnast who, fearing for her mental and physical health, has pulled herself out of competitions at the Olympics in Japan.

From an early age, Simone, like many athletes, was suckered by society into continuously attempting to do things — to perform physical feats — that no one should be attempting in the first place.

The jump Simone had a problem with last week was one such act: A quadruple twist in mid-air to be followed be a particular type of landing. That is a very difficult jump. When something goes wrong, as it too often does for people even as talented as Simone Biles, serious, life-altering injuries can occur.

Is a prize medal and the adoration of fans worth that risk?

“The Twisties”

Simone Biles thought it was… until Friday, when she lost control of her body and her mind in mid-flight. She got what she and other gymnasts call “the twisties”.

Gymnastics is both a physical and a mental sport. When the mind can’t keep up with what the body is attempting to do, it freezes. (This experience is not unique to gymnastics.) That’s what happened to Simone, and it scared her. In that instant, she realized the mental and physical dangers she’d been exposing herself to… and she walked away. She was able to walk away because the something that went wrong didn’t result in serious injury.

Simone Biles is, now, a very fortunate young lady. She backed out of a very risky situation — and she is being highly praised by her athlete colleagues for having the sense to do so.

Good for you, Simone!

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Doug Harris

50+ years a writer, 80+ unique bylines. Two blogs have reached 60+ countries.