Coming from a growing brain/mental health enthusiast, I can only imagine just how hard it would be to miss out on any athletic competition, let alone the Olympics. Plus it isn’t just that it was at the Olympics, what's more, is that it is The Simone Biles-- the gymnastics superstar and defending Olympic Champion!
Biles, born March 14th, 1997 is originally from Spring, Texas but remains known as the American artistic gymnast holding 30 olympic and world championship medals! Simone’s talent is absolutely immaculate and she is without a doubt a true fan favorite.
So let’s talk further about her pulling herself out of the individual final. Many articles are explaining this as withdrawal due to “Medical Reasons” while others state this was because of “Mental Health” reasons.
Yes, saying ‘medical reasons’ truly is a more generic term to reference ‘mental health.’ Nonetheless, let’s just take a look at what the athlete says about the situation herself? As Biles stated “Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape.
Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment. Coming here to the Olympics and being the head star isn’t an easy feat, so we’re just trying to take it one day at a time and we’ll see.”
As an individual who takes overall mental health very seriously, keeping in mind that many people view discussing mental health as a weakness or something to be ashamed of, I truly am so proud of Simone for taking her mental health seriously.
Taking a step to be so open with the entire world about something very vulnerable and personal is something that speaks so much louder to me than a world championship gold medal.
Of course, winning the championship medal is a huge deal but man, to continue to fight through in order to keep the potential chance just to maybe win. Meanwhile, the athlete knowing deep down that her own emotional struggles will be completely holding not only herself back but her entire USA team-- what good would that do? Honestly, what benefits would that bring?
Dr. Daniel Amen says it so well, “This is a very important conversation, the weight of gold, how much pressure we are putting on young athletes and olympians to be the BEST instead of THEIR BEST?”
Just the fact that Simone has made it to the Olympics so clearly shows that she really is the greatest of all time but taking this step to protect her mental health goes way beyond the greatness of making it into the Olympics.
This is something to be proud of, even amidst the hard. Actor Kerry Washington tweeted, “It takes the strength, power and bravery of a CHAMPION to put your health first. @Simone_Biles, we love you. Thank you.” I totally stand with Washington's tweet and applaud Simone in her bravery as she continues to be a champion leader.