Simone Biles did not owe anyone an explanation for withdrawing. Yet, late Thursday evening, the gymnastics star addressed and answered questions about the "twisties" she experienced.
Biles shared videos of her uneven bar routine on her Instagram story, adding comments on the two clips of how many more twists she had to go on her dismount. On the first video, she had 1.5 more twists when she landed flat on her back.
"For anyone saying I quit, I didn't quit," Biles wrote on the first clip. "My mind and body are simply not in sync...I don't think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competition surface. Nor do I have to explain why I put health first.
"Physical health is mental health."
She made it farther in the second clip, but still had half a twist to go. Biles wrote on the second video that what she was experiencing did not happen before she left the U.S. for the Games. It "randomly started" at the preliminary competition, and "by that time NO an alternate was not allowed to be placed in my position for you 'know it alls.'"
The 24-year-old also addressed that she chose to withdraw from the gymnastics team final and the all-around competition because she did not want to jeopardize "losing a medal (of any color) for the girls/US" and "also for my own safety and health."
Biles proceeded to do a Q&A with fans. One user asked if she was still experiencing the "twisties," to which Biles confirmed she was and added that the videos on her story were taken earlier that morning at practice.
And it wasn't the first time she's experienced them either. However, typically, Biles said it's "never transferred to bar & beam before for me," but "this time it's literally on every event."
Another user asked "about how long does it usually take for it to leave?" For Biles, it varies.
"Typically for me it's usually 2 or more weeks when I've had them before," she wrote. "Honestly no telling/time frame something you have to take literally day by day, turn by turn."
When she warmed up in the back gym, Biles said she felt "ok-ish."
"I was fighting demons but I did it," she added. "Petrified too."
Similarly to Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from the French Open to prioritize her mental health, Biles faced widespread criticism for not finishing the competition after her atypical vault where she struggled with the landing, even as fans across the world echoed support for the highly decorated gymnast.
Among the voices supporting the gymnast was swimming legend Michael Phelps, who is working as a TV analyst for NBC during the Tokyo Olympics.
"We're humans, right? We're human beings. Nobody is perfect so yes, it is OK to not be OK. It's OK to go through ups and downs and emotional roller coasters," Phelps said to NBC sportscaster Mike Tirico. "But I think the biggest thing is we all need to ask for help sometimes too when we go through those times. For me, I can say personally it was something very challenging. It was hard for me to ask for help. I felt like I was carrying, as Simone said, the weight of the world on [my] shoulders. It's a tough situation."
On the last slide of her story, Biles took the time to address the continued accusations of her having a bad performance and quitting, saying, "I simply got so lost my safety was at risk as well as a team medal.
"I also have no idea how I landed on my feet on that vault bc if you look at the pictures & my eyes you can see how confused I am as to where I am in the air," Biles wrote. "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."
Sign up for our free daily Olympics newsletter: Very Olympic Today. You'll catch up on the top stories, smaller events, things you may have missed while you were sleeping and links to the best writing from SI’s reporters on the ground in Tokyo.
More Olympics Coverage: