The “GOAT” Gymnast
September 7, 2021
Simone Biles, aka the “GOAT” of gymnastics, has a rhinestone goat embellished on her leotard and continues to stun the world with her insane talent and her empowering voice.
Biles performs gymnastic routines/skills that nobody else has ever performed; Biles continues to raise the bar by being the most decorated gymnast in the world. While Biles has earned herself 25 world medals and four Olympic gold medals, it is important for people to remember that she is also just a person. A person who struggles with mental health. Biles has reminded the world that it is okay to step back, “It is OK, to not be OK” as Biles says.
In the world today, there is constant pressure to succeed. Biles is navigating her way around the constant pressure, while being a positive example to others who may struggle with the same pressure. Whether they be a student athlete, a professional athlete, or even just a regular day person…Biles is having an impact on them.
For Biles, it took courage to take a step back from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and realize that she was not okay. She was not performing at her best ability and was making mistakes that she rarely ever made. She was not the same “Simone Biles” the world was used to seeing.
A gold medal is not everything. Biles stepping down from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics shows that it is possible to win in a different way. The United States and Biles failed to bring home the gold; however, they brought back something much bigger. Strength. The strength to speak up. The strength to realize something is not okay. The strength to step down. Society, for the most part, praised Biles for her courage.
Part of society argues that it was selfish for Simone Biles to withdraw from the Olympics. Biles took a spot away from a qualified gymnast that could have had her Olympics dream come true. Second, Biles put unnecessary stress on her teammates, Chiles and Lee. The two athletes were put in a stressful situation. Lee admitted in a conference that, “We were all so stressed. She’s freaking Simone Biles…she carries the team”. While Lee was stressed, she was proud that her and her teammates stepped up.
Gymnastics is a mental game. The mind and body must connect at all times. One mental block can lead to a misstep which can end in a deadly or severe injury.
Biles had the twisties (a gymnast can no longer master a twisting skill that they have done thousands of times) the morning before she stumbled on the Amanar vault. Stumbling on the Amanar vault was her breaking point. Simone Biles was not performing to the standards that she held herself to.
Biles concluded that her mental health was far more important to take care of during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics than competing for a gold medal.
Biles standing up for herself and taking care of her mental health is not selfish.
At the end of the day, you have to do what is best for you. Simone Biles earns her righteous title of being the “GOAT” even more after her powerful act of dismissing society’s traditional way of approaching mental health.