from difficult childhood to successes, then the collapse-

from Arianna Ravelli, sent to Tokyo

The American in tears ends her race with a sensational admission of fragility, the most dangerous jump ever performed

It must have happened while flying through the air, after the vault jump. When she realized that she would not be able to perform the double twist that for her was almost banal and landed like this, very far from the perfection which Simone Biles got used to it, before getting used to the world: 13,766, low score, if you are the greatest of all time.

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Maybe that’s where the click was triggered. A crack that creeps, the woodworm that undermines certainties, the demon entering the head, to put it in the words that come at the end of a conference that starts with obviously false laughter and phrases of circumstance (I’m not too worried about what happened) and ends with tears and a resounding admission of fragility that seems the most dangerous that Simone has ever performed. And which, in fact, ends up winning the applause of the world.

I no longer have faith in myself as before. I don’t know if it’s a question of age. Then, in tears: I feel that I’m not having fun anymore. I know these are the Games, I wanted to play them, but in reality I am participating for others, more than for myself. It hurts me to think that doing what I love has been taken away from me. As soon as I step on the platform it’s just me and my head. And there are demons that I have to deal with.

The four golds and the bronze of Rio seemed not enough, this time they had to be five golds. The vaulting jumps that have always allowed her to win with ease either, Simone had made up her mind to make an extreme one, never performed by a woman. Too much. At what price should perfection be maintained? Nadia Comaneci’s ten do not necessarily have to live here.

Simone curled up, then left the competition field accompanied by the team doctor: the US team was orphaned and the gold medal at that moment took the path of Russia, while Italy (Martina Maggio, Asia and Alice D’Amato, Vanessa Ferrari) finds her best performance since 1928 and finishes fourth. Simone returned to the platform with the suit, with the ankle bandaged, but looking at her from the stands some doubts immediately arose about the version of the physical injury. Until someone on the team lets a first truth leak out: Biles had a mental crack. If it was the accumulation of a life that began in the most difficult way (the mother who takes drugs, the grandparents who adopt her), went through the pain of the harassment of the doctor Nassar, if like the black American swimmer Simone Manuel suffered particularly a year of violence against blacks, or if, like tennis player Naomi Osaka, she encountered depression, now neither does Simone.

Who for some clue had already left it lying around. Those handfuls of imperfections on the day of qualification, so much so that our Vanessa Ferrari, a woman who has reached maturity at 30, stands before her free body. And that social post clear call for help: I ​​felt like I had the whole weight of the world on my shoulders. It is unclear if he will now play the gear finals. I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health. You don’t have to do what the world asks you to do. At the free body, on August 2, there will be Vanessa. Will the Biles be missing? When I step on the platform I fight against myself, not against the opponents. The same fight from which Simone, yesterday, came out defeated. Or perhaps a winner like never before.

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July 28, 2021 (change July 28, 2021 | 12:43)

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