tokyo 2020 olympics

Gymnast Biles still struggling with 'petrifying' mental block

24 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2021 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
Login to comment

USA's Simone Biles was an onlooker during the women's all-around final

I put health first. Physical health is mental health

Speaking of putting health first, why is Biles allowed to attend as a spectator if she's not participating? Biles and US Gymnastics need to respect the Covid safety restrictions. Only athletes, coaches and essential staff are permitted at the venues.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

M3M3M3Today  02:59 pm JST

Speaking of putting health first, why is Biles allowed to attend as a spectator if she's not participating? Biles and US Gymnastics need to respect the Covid safety restrictions. Only athletes, coaches and essential staff are permitted at the venues.

Good points and yeah, I thought no spectators allowed at these Olympics.

She should go home and get the help she obviously needs, l and yes, she did quit.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

There is some speculation I heard via Joe Rogan she was unable to bring ADHD medication to Japan. Would make sense as Japan is so strict with ADHD medication and she did report being on methylphenidate in 2016. Therefore may be severe withdrawal if this is the case.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I feel bad for the US gymnast Biles beat out to qualify for the Olympics...

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Please, the "twisties", mental heath concerns are not, never must be a means/excuse for one off days.

The challenge is to build the character to rise above when poo happens, take responsibility.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Interesting theory regarding meds, never thought of that but could indeed be a factor.

also wonder about the long flight. I know all athletes go through it but it can affect people in different ways.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We are all at risk of the,"twisties", the more/higher your ambition takes you the greater the fall why you flip up.

And you will, the wrong call, you have to hold you hands up to your investors and admit you got it wrong.

Why would any other walk of life be different. Sports, finance, filling shelves, what the difference?

Them the breaks, they come and yes they go.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Even at her worse she was better than the others

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Time to find another career path then.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Let's see: Do I trust armchair quarterbacks who have never done any gymnastics in their lives, or do I trust the statements of former gymnasts like Dominique Moceanu, who have first-hand experience of what gymnasts and other athletes have to go through? Hmmm ... I think the choice is so obvious.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Speaking of putting health first, why is Biles allowed to attend as a spectator if she's not participating? Biles and US Gymnastics need to respect the Covid safety restrictions. Only athletes, coaches and essential staff are permitted at the venues.

She's still an athlete

She withdrew from the all-around event, but she hasn't withdrawn from the individual apparatus events next week (she qualified to all 4)

Sounds like she has the equivalent of the "yips." Reminds us of NY Yankees Second-Baseman Chuck Knoblauch in the 90's. All of a sudden for no reason at all, he just couldn't throw the ball to First Base. He was having some mental block that he couldn't get over. There are other baseball examples too:

https://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/5-worst-cases-of-yips-in-baseball.htm

Chuck Knoblauch

The baseball yips aren't reserved for pitchers alone. New York Yankees second baseman Chuck Knoblauch was a Rookie of the Year, won several World Series rings and went to four all-star games [source: Rayno]. But after all those achievements, Knoblauch started having problems throwing the ball to first base, a routine and relatively simple task for any second baseman.

In 1999 he had a total of 26 errors. And, apparently, one of his wild throws from second base hit Keith Olberman's mom in the face as she watched the game from the stands [source: Plautz]. The yips know no bounds. Like other cases of the yips, there was no real explanation for Knoblauch's loss of throwing ability. After changing positions a few times, Knoblauch eventually retired from baseball in 2003. During his 12 seasons as a professional baseball player he earned a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, among his other achievements.

These things happen. Sometimes at the worst time

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I count 3 articles about her quitting, while the winner gets one article each.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Time to find another career path then.

So much for supporting hopes and dreams, and splendor and wonder!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

blvtzpk

If you no longer have the physical or mental ability to compete when you are asked to, you have to consider something new. She was nit just competing for herself but her country.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It's funny how so many of the whiners saying she should just buck up and do it for her countrymen are the same folks who refuse to vaccinate or mask up for their fellow countrymen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you no longer have the physical or mental ability to compete when you are asked to, you have to consider something new. She was nit just competing for herself but her country.

Your empathy knows no bounds…

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just on the general subject of pressure and mental health, I watched the badminton this morning because Okuhara, the former World #1, is from Nagano. Anyway, she was on live Japanese tv within sixty seconds of losing her match. She walked off court, fist bumped some people in her team, and the reporter and camera were right there waiting for her. They gave her no time to collect her thoughts at all.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

garypen

There is no connection between the Olympics and vaccines or masks. This woman agreed to partake in something and failed to complete her obligation. Vaccines and mask wearing are nit something those against them have agreed to.

blvtzpk

Its a dog eat dog world at the top of any sporting profession. Only the toughest survive and win, it’s a winner take all mentality that’s required also PMA.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I am supportive of her decision, in that mental health is overwhelming when it happens. But, I had a conversation last night with a sports friend who showed me it’s not so black and white. This is the single highest completion out there, and only a limited number of people can go. She went, and took a spot, then didn’t compete. This means some other athlete lost their opportunity to go to the Olympics. Also, her decision affected the score for her entire team which kind of screws then.

He made a lot of sense. I still support her decision if that’s what she needed, but moving forward athletes need to consider if they will be able to handle it, and if they can or they need step aside for someone who can ahead of time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Stranger

Good points.

Yes, it’s sad when this sort of thing occurs but let’s remember this isn’t school sports day. This isn’t your workplace where you can say you’re taking the day off for stresss or whatever. It’s a tough world elite sports if any kind and for her discipline this is the most important event. She’s competing for her nation, they need competitors who are able to perform at all times except for physical injuries of course.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@falseflagsteve

Fair points. Then again, she is one of the great Olympic athletes who reached a breaking point. You nor I have never been tested at this level. I’m sure you’d like to think you’d have the fortitude to succeed but who knows.

Even on this site, I’ve come across hysterical meltdowns from anonymous posters which would make Biles look like she has ice running through her veins. Nobody knows who they are but they soiled themselves under no pressure.

Imagine these types in the gymnastic events? There would be poopy galore on the mat.

@Strangerland

Good points as usual. Isn’t there something to be said for her truly believing she could get through? I hate to sound like a crusty middle-aged man here, but I didn’t have the same self-awareness in my 20s that I have now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Before making any assumptions about what "twisties", I recommend anyone watch this video posted by a gymnast, who is currently preparing for finals. After he speaks about his experience in general at the Tokyo game and showing some clips of his preparatory training, he talks about "twisties", a mental block gymnasts experience at about 4:38. He said it may be very hard to understand unless you are also a gymnast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCF6vCu3Y-k

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jimizo

I was very active in sport in my younger days, competing and also involved for a few years with the business side. I learned a lot from this time and unless people have mixed with elite sportsmen it’s hard to explain what is needed to excel. Their chosen sport, whether athletic, football has to be their life during their career, which is usually short. At anytime it can be over by injury. Top teams have to be ruthless in who they choose, it’s all about winning and the competition is very tough.

it us a shame when this happens but it also happens to many talented youngsters worldwide every week. It’s part and parcel of sport. She is well know and accomplished. She can easily work in the industry if she decided to quit competitively.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

She will never surpass Comăneci..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites