🐐 # SeeHerShine | #OlympicHERstory pic.twitter.com/YfAUcTUGbI
– On Her Turf (@OnHerTurf) August 4, 2021
When Simone Biles stepped up to balance during the finals at the Tokyo Olympics, the world held its collective breath. It had been a week since Biles had withdrawn from the team finals after experiencing “twisties”, a mental block that caused her to get lost in the air during her vault in the first rotation. She would go on to explain that she could not even “grasp twisting” and that unlike seizures she had had before, this case of twisties had affected her abilities on all devices.
It would have been dangerous for Biles to compete in all the events she had qualified for, so one by one she withdrew – until she was finally medically approved to perform on balance beam. It would be her last chance to compete at these Olympics, and given that she had to downgrade her descent — which is typically a double-twisting double regression — to compete safely, it would just be delivering a performance , she could be proud of, would be victory enough. And that was exactly what Biles did. As her feet touched the mat at the end of her routine, she beamed.
That this routine gave Biles a bronze medal – the seventh Olympic medal of her career – seemed almost secondary. This was her Olympic moment, where her coaches, teammates and other competitors cheered her on. See the full routine and her reaction in the clip above.