July 28, 2021 - Yesterday Simone Biles, widely regarded as the greatest gymnast ever, withdrew from the team competition in the Tokyo Olympics. Today she decided to also withdraw from the individual all-around event, which is one of the premier events of the Olympics.
Initially many people thought she must have suffered a serious physical injury. Instead, she said it was because of mental health, and that she wasn’t mentally there for her team, and she didn’t want to take away from their experience and opportunity if she couldn’t be there 100%.
It’s hard to imagine the kind of pressure she is under. Not only does she do these mind-blowing feats that take incredible concentration, but she has very much been the face of the this Olympics. Any Olympic promotion, at least in the United States, has her face on it. She is also black, and a woman, which would bring its own pressure and feeling of responsibility and showing that “you can do it.”
You go Simone! I think it’s great she dropped out. Many people, including myself, look to the Olympics as a place to find inspiration. Well, here is an inspirational message from an amazing Olympian…Take Care of Your Mental Health.