At 24 years old, Simone Biles is a four-time Olympic gold medalist, a bronze medalist, and now a silver medalist. She is the only victim of Larry Nassar that is still competing in the sport that didn’t do a very good job of protecting her.
And this morning, Biles made her mental health a priority. She listened to her body, knew she wasn’t in the right frame of mind to put her best foot forward, and let her three other teammates lead the way. As a human being, you can’t ask for much more than that.
As At the Buzzer previously reported, Simone Biles shocked the world when she pulled herself out of the team final after competing just one vault run. As the meet continued, speculations swirled as to why Simone wasn’t competing.
Instead, she was wearing her Team USA sweatsuit, gleefully cheering on her teammate as they competed for their first Olympic medal. After the competition concluded, Biles revealed that if this was 2016, she would have pushed through, ignoring the signs which could have possibly ended in a serious injury.
But this year, the reason why she decided to compete in her second Olympic Games was because she wanted to do it for herself. To let the world, USGA, and her abuser know they can’t take the thing she loves the most away from her.
“Today it’s like, you know what, no, I don’t want to do something stupid and get hurt,” she said, according to The New York Times. “And it’s just it’s not worth it, especially when you have three amazing athletes that can step up to the plate and do it, not worth it.”
“At the end of the day, where we’re human too so we have to protect our mind in our body rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do. With the year that it’s been. I’m really not surprised how it played out.”
Biles’ sister, Adria, also spoke out in support of Simone. And in support of her decision to prioritize herself.
“Y’all are all about mental health until it no longer benefits you. I can’t imagine being that inconsiderate. WHEWWWW.”
In the days leading up to the team final, Biles spoke of the pressure she was feeling on Instagram. “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! The Olympics is no joke!”
But when Simone was standing on the sidelines this morning, cheering on Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCallum, you could almost see the weight being lifted off of her. And regarding if she will compete on Thursday in the individual all-around competition, Biles didn’t make any promises.
“I’m SO proud of these girls right here,” Biles said alongside a photo of her and her teammates holding their silver medals. “You girls are incredibly brave & talented! I’ll forever be inspired by your determination to not give up and to fight through adversity! They stepped up when I couldn’t. Thanks for being there for me and having my back! forever love y’all.”
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