Flips and perfect finishes initially made Biles a role model to so many. However, her latest decisions, prioritizing mental health on the world’s center stage at the Olympics is something sports medicine doctors hope young athletes can learn from.
“Simone’s bravery is teaching us all a lesson,” Dr. Emily Sweeney said.
Before becoming a pediatric sports medicine doctor at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Sweeney was a level 10 gymnast.
“I have coached, and I’ve judged and I was a gymnast, so I have done a bunch of different aspects of it,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney knows what Biles went through when she got the “twisties” as she has been through a similar situation.
“Imagine, you go to a dentist for a procedure, and they numb one side of your mouth, and you look in the mirror and you know how to smile but no matter how hard you try you can’t smile, like your body won’t cooperate that’s how it feels like,” Sweeney said. “You know how to do these skills, but your body just won’t cooperate and it’s really frustrating.”