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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Simone Biles to Compete in Balance Beam Final at Tokyo Olympics

The four-time Olympic gold medalist withdrew from five Olympic events, citing mental health concerns.

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Image for article titled Simone Biles to Compete in Balance Beam Final at Tokyo Olympics
Photo: Laurence Griffiths (Getty Images)

Simone Biles, not to be confused with fellow Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel, will compete in Tuesday’s balance beam final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Per USA Gymnastics, the four-time Olympic gymnast will make her triumphant return after previously pulling out of five Olympic events due to mental health concerns.

“We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow—Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!!” USA Gymnastics tweeted. “Can’t wait to watch you both!”

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Biles, the most decorated American in the history of the sport, was projected to collect a record five gold medals in Tokyo. But after struggling with “the twisties,” a dangerous condition in which gymnasts “lose their sense of space and dimension in midair,” the 24-year-old withdrew from the team competition, individual all-around, uneven bars, vault and the floor exercise for her own safety.

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“Literally cannot tell up from down,” she explained in an Instagram Story on Friday. “It’s the craziest feeling ever. Not having an inch of control over your body. What’s even scarier is since I have no idea where I am in the air I also have NO idea how I’m going to land, or what I’m going to land on. Head/hands/feet/back.”

She continued, “I also have no idea how I landed on my feet on that vault because if you look at the pictures and my eyes you can see how confused I am as to where I am in the air. Thankfully I landed safe enough but I also don’t think some of you realize I was supposed to do a 2 1/2 and I only completed 1 1/2 twists before it looks like I got shot out of the air.”

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If this sounds horrifying, imagine how it must feel for Simone.

Thankfully, she appears to finally be in the right state of mind to collect what’s hers—that Olympic gold—and I look forward to watching her crush her competition.