Rory McIlroy said of Simone Biles: "If you don't feel right 100 percent mentally, that's an injury, too." Photo: Stephen McCarthy, Sportsfile via Getty Images
After the first round of the Olympic Men’s Golf Competition, Rory McIlroy once again proved why he represents golf’s conscience.
McIlroy was commenting on Simone Biles, the all-time great gymnast who stunned the sports world earlier this week by withdrawing from the women’s team final in Japan. Her withdrawal came not from a nagging injury but a mental struggle that held her back from competing. Because of that internal discomfort, Biles didn’t follow through on what has long been considered a core philosophy of any athlete trying to reach the zenith of their craft: push through the pain when your number is called and pick up the pieces when the spotlight fades.
Instead, Biles explained a feeling of “the twisties.” In golf, we would call them the yips, only gymnasts have to cope with this mental block while in mid-air, maneuvering their body into complicated positions.
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