What causes a mental block mid-air? How can an athlete regain balance and confidence?
The story so far: Simone Biles was seemingly adept at defying gravity and always blended aesthetics with accuracy. But something was amiss and it became evident when the acclaimed gymnast from the U.S. withdrew from the floor final at the Tokyo Olympics. Attention was immediately drawn to mental health, a grim theme coursing through the sporting world, and Biles joined the aggrieved ranks of tennis star Naomi Osaka and cricketer Ben Stokes.
What made Biles withdraw from several of her events?
Deep within Biles was battling depression and she knew that her mind and limbs were not in sync. Gymnasts flip mid-air and are expected to land like a cat while maintaining a peacock’s graceful vibe. But if the mind is at sea, a life can be in peril. The 24-year-old Biles was performing a vault when she appeared disoriented and stumbled as she landed. India got familiar with the Produnova vault which Dipa…