Sports fans were shocked to learn that Simone Biles, the American gymnastic juggernaut, was withdrawing from the Olympics. But she had a good reason for it.
Don’t let her small stature fool you. As far as winners go, Simone Biles stands head and shoulders above most of her peers.
Sure, she’s all in on winning. It’s easy to think of her as an athletic machine. And to the casual observer, it would be easy to forget she’s more than that.
Simone has just shown the world that she understands some things in life are even more important than standing on top of that podium.
On Day Four of the Olympics she surprised those in attendance with a shaky performance on her vault.
The performance landed Biles with a score of 13.766 and in last place on her first rotation of the vault—her lowest score in her Olympics career and in event that was traditionally one of her best.
The gymnast exited the competition floor with the team doctor before returning minutes later with her right leg wrapped.
She then hugged her teammates Grace McCallum, Sunisa Lee and Jordan Chiles. In footage taken following the performance, Biles appears to tell the trio: “I’m sorry. I love you guys.”
After leaving the stadium, it was later confirmed that Biles had pulled out of the entire team finals.
Once Biles had withdrawn, the Russian team went on to edge out Team USA for the gold.
The apology to her teammates shows she’s a great competitor and team player keenly aware of how she’s not the only one impacted by her inability to finish the event.
But there is more than one kind of courage. One kind is shown in the heart of a fierce competitor.
It takes a different kind of courage to swallow your pride and recognize your own limitations.
Official statement: "Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions."
Thinking of you, Simone! pic.twitter.com/QA1GYHwWTv
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) July 27, 2021
She didn’t sprain an ankle, or injure a tendon. It was nothing like that. Biles recognized a different kind of limitation. She’d been carrying the weight of the world … so to speak … on her shoulders. And it was taking a real toll on her. Not everyone has the courage to recognize that or do something about it.
Olympic champion Simone Biles said Tuesday she was “super frustrated” after pulling out of the gymnastics team finals as she deals with the emotional toll of competing in Tokyo. The team earned a silver medal, ending their bid for a third straight Olympic title.
Biles told NBC’s Today that she withdrew from the team final because of the emotional toll associated with competing in the Olympics, rather than a physical injury.
“Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape,” she said. “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.” —NBC
In another interview, she gave some more detail.
Speaking about her sensational exit from competition, which cleared the way for Team USA’s Russian rivals to claim gold in a dramatic upset, the 24-year-old revealed that it came as a result of her personal mental health struggles and her desire to prioritize her ‘wellbeing’.
‘To focus on my wellbeing,’ she told reporters of her reasons for pulling out of the competition following a sensational flub on the vault, echoing the statement issued by Naomi, 23, when she pulled out of the French Open earlier this year because of her own mental health struggles.
Shrugging, Simone added: ‘And you know, there’s more to life than just gymnastics.
‘It is very unfortunate that it has to happen at this stage because I definitely wanted this Olympics to go a little bit better but again, we’ll take it one day at a time and we’re going to see how the rest goes.’
The gymnast also insisted that her decision to pull out of the competition after just one event – when she was due to take part in all four – was made, in part, to help her team, saying that she ‘didn’t want to risk the team medal’ with ‘her screw up’. –DailyMail
Will she be back to compete in other individual events?
The short answer is… we just don’t know yet.
Nor does she.
Either way, she’s already a champ in our books. A genuine badass.
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