D.he Olympic team final of the gymnasts was a great, exciting competition between the two gymnastics superpowers of the past decades. A young Russian team clearly triumphed against the USA and – after decades of dominance by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s – won the first Olympic team gold for Russia.
The US gymnasts, who seemed almost invincible in the past decade, were forced to change the team after the first device: Jordan Chiles had to step in on the parallel bars and did so brilliantly. Sunisa Lee, who unexpectedly had to hit the floor, contributed the highest rating to this device. But as you’d expect, these gymnastics competitions are all about Simone Biles; also – or perhaps even more so – when she is not doing gymnastics.
Loss of the sense of space and time
The 24-year-old, who had been designated as the superstar of these Olympic Games in advance, decided to abandon the competition after a blackout at the jump. She had experienced what other gymnasts also know and what is known in English as “twisties” – from twist, that is, the rotation of the longitudinal axis: the sudden loss of the sense of space and time while the body is in the air. Instead of the announced two and a half screws, Biles only showed one and a half screws and landed uncontrollably on the mat, luckily on his feet.
No, she “didn’t decide to just show a screw and a half,” Biles said at the press conference, and laughed at the question. What happened there was very “uncharacteristic” for them. In fact, it is not least Biles’ ability to have her position in the air under precise control in every movement, no matter how complex, that characterizes her extraordinary acrobatics.
It was already a fight with “all these evil spirits” in the gymnasium, after this jump she knew it was “better to take a step back”, also with a view to the best possible team result: “You have a great job made and they should be very proud of this silver medal that they won without me. ”Simone Biles had accompanied the competition of her teammates, helped where possible, cheered and cheered with them about successful exercises.
When it came to her decision, Biles spoke of her “mental health” and her physical integrity: “I didn’t want to go out there, screw up and injure myself.” This aspect is more important than one might think, given the seemingly effortlessly presented maximum difficulties is used to the world’s best.
In contrast to other sports – you can choose between dressage, table tennis or archery – gymnastics is a very dangerous sport. Breaking your neck is a real danger, and unfortunately the list of those who have experienced it in training or competition is long. It can happen after an unsuccessful jump, for example from the ten centimeter wide balance beam, but also and especially when you lose your orientation in the air, for whatever reason.
Simone Biles, who stated that she had already experienced “twisties” here and there in training, said about the mental strain that these Olympic Games were very “stressful”, that many things came together, from the lack of an audience to the preparation that was extended by a year towards a very busy week.