Simone Biles has tweeted thanks to a Japanese gym for allowing her to privately train while she attempted to regain her gold medal form after withdrawing during the women’s artistic gymnastics team final at the Summer Olympics.
While thanking those at the Juntendo University in a Wednesday tweet, Biles retweeted a story first published in The Wall Street Journal. The report says Biles and her team asked the facility if she could discretely use the gym in an attempt to overcome her struggle with “the twisties,” a mental block in gymnastics where competitors lose track of their positioning midair.
The Wall Street Journal reported that university professor Kazuhiro Aoki got a phone call about 12 hours after Biles removed herself from the team final, asking to use the school’s gym for a “gymnast.”
According to the report, during a four-day period, Biles practiced for hours behind locked doors working on moves she previously performed with precision.
Last week, Biles posted a series of videos on her Instagram account showing the 4-time Olympic gold medal winner struggling to find her form and crashing into landing pads while practicing dismounts on the uneven bars.
Biles said Wednesday she would “forever be thankful” to Juntendo “for allowing me to come train separately to try to get my skills back.”
The Japanese, she wrote in her tweet, “are some of, if not the sweetest people I’ve ever met.”
After not competing as originally planned in four individual finals at the Tokyo Olympics — the all-around individual competition, the vault, the uneven bars and floor — Biles returned on Tuesday to claim the bronze medal in the women’s balance beam final. It was her second medal at these Summer Games and her seventh Olympic medal overall.
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