Jamaica Olympian Danusia Francis hits back at critics of US gymnast Simone Biles

By Sports Desk July 31, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamaica gymnast Danusia Francis has chided critics of American star Simone Biles, insisting they were speaking from a place of ignorance.

The 24-year-old Biles was at the centre of controversy earlier this week, after choosing to pull out of the gymnastics team final during the vault.  At the time, Biles pointed to having no idea where she was while in the air.  She later also pulled out of the other events.

Critics have accused the four-time gold medallist of succumbing to the pressure of the moment, and lacking mental strength, Francis, however, insists the athlete was not only looking out for her mental but physical well-being and the team as well.

“For those criticising her, I kind of say ‘shame on you.’ You have to understand and if you don’t understand then take the time to.  Educate yourself on why she’s pulled out,” Francis told SportsMax.TV’s weekly program InCaseYouMissedIT.

“She pulled out for her safety, and it was also the best move in terms of the team.  So, people saying she is a quitter or not a team player are completely incorrect,” she added.

“She had something that we in gymnastics call the ‘twisties’, it’s when you get completely lost in the air.  You don’t know up from down, you don’t know where the floor or the ceiling are, and sheer panic goes through your whole body,” Francis said.

“You can land on your head, your neck.  The injuries that people have gotten from having the ‘twisties are terrible.  So, for her to realise that she had that in competition and take herself out, obviously it wasn’t an easy decision, but she realized the danger she was putting herself in and also the risk of a low score.  In the team event, all the scores count.”  

The Jamaican had injury issues of her own to deal with and was unable to fully compete at the Games after tearing her ACL.  The athlete could only manage a no dismount routine on the Uneven Bars.

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