My reaction to Simone Biles WITHDRAWING from Olympic event
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a MASSIVE fan of Simone Biles... (I also have an immense amount of respect for her, and I look up to her a lot).
She has spent most of her life preparing for the Olympics, barely had a social life, and spent most of her life in the gym.
And, with 4 moves basically named after her in Gymnastics, Biles (in my opinion) is a force to be reckoned with in athletics.
She does incredibly difficult moves that she has to be in the right mindset to do.
But, at the same time, Simone Biles decided to withdraw from the team final. At the Olympic qualifiers, she wrote in a caption on Instagram, “prelims ☑️ now to prepare for finals.
it wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it. I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The olympics is no joke!”
Simone Biles is under loads of pressure. Even before the opening ceremony, a reporter asked her whether she would compete in another Olympics even before the beginning of the Olympics.
When Simone stepped out of her floor routine and her vault routine and some of her other events, so many people freaked out over her slip up.
I think while it’s important to realize that while athletes are human beings at the end of the day, as someone who has had struggles with mental health, I don’t think that it’s fair to withdraw and put pressure on your entire team because you aren’t in the right mindset to compete.
I have struggled personally with mental health, but I’ve learned to not use my struggles as an excuse in life.
Think about it this way… imagine if swimming legend and American Olympian Michael Phelps withdrew from a race because he didn’t feel that he was in the right mindset or headspace or felt pressure or stress… do you think people would feel badly for him? No, I honestly don’t think so. Also, imagine if someone from the military decided to basically “withdraw” from going into combat because they felt that they “weren’t in the right head or mental space”... wouldn’t the soldier get yelled at or in big big trouble?
Also, what about Kerri Strug, a former Olympic gymnast on Team USA who literally got injured yet still vaulted with one leg?
(Even during the press conference today, Simone basically said that she wasn’t injured).
But, at the same time, I do want to try and make it clear that I am trying to look at this in a neutral way, because I really don’t know what’s going on with Simone behind the scenes, and I do really look up to her.
I’m just disappointed that we are living in a society where we uplift some sorts of weakness over strength, especially when it may be taking place on the world stage.
I acknowledge and respect Simone’s strong work ethic and advocacy to get to the Olympics because it is not an easy thing to do at all, and it takes a lot of sacrifice.
I also acknowledge that she has been struggling with mental health issues, and I will continually pray for her success, protection and happiness.
You are allowed to do what you want, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t necessarily face criticism for your actions.
I also want to remind people to be careful when you criticize… I saw a lot of vicious posts in my feed about Simone while those same people were basically sitting on their couches while Simone and Team USA was competing.
Getting a silver metal is not a bad thing.
But, at the same time I understand that many Americans are upset because Simone is basically representing all of us.
But, even when Simone was training for the Olympics, she noted in her Facebook documentary that she was struggling with mental health issues.
If you are not in the right head space to compete at a difficult place like the Olympics, please analyze your limits and if you don’t feel that you are in the right head space during training, then maybe Simone should have respectfully stayed home and maybe she should have waited to compete if she was even struggling with mental health during her training?
I understand that being in the public eye is hard, stressful, but that doesn’t mean you won’t receive criticism. Just a thought I guess, because I do believe that everyone has a right to their opinion.
These athletes are representing us, and I respectfully think that that's pretty important to try and respectfully remember.
I don’t know, but those are just my final thoughts.