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Simone Biles: ‘I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics’

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American gymnastics star Simone Biles says the public reaction to her decision to withdraw from the team and individual all-around events has given her a fuller appreciation of herself as a person, beyond the trophies and medals.

“The outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before,” Biles wrote via Twitter on Thursday.

Biles retweeted some of those messages of support, including a tweet from Hoda Kotb calling Biles a “class act.”

Biles also retweeted a note from Washington Post sports writer Emily Giambalvo confirming Biles had the “twisties.”

The first sign that Biles was experiencing the “twisties” came during the team all-around final on Monday, when she executed a 1 ½ twisting vault instead of the planned 2 ½ twists before pulling out of the competition altogether.

The phenomenon, which is relatively common in gymnastics, results in a disconnect between the mind and the body. The athlete essentially gets lost in the air and loses control during a twist they have previously executed countless times. Once the “twisties” settle in, they are hard to shake and can be extremely dangerous for a gymnast attempting the most challenging moves.

Biles and USA Gymnastics have yet to confirm her participation in the individual apparatus event finals next week.