June 20, 2024
Simone Biles

The seven-time Olympic medal-winning United States gymnast Simone Biles took millions by surprise when she withdrew from the individual all-around event finals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Biles announced after she stepped down that she needed to take time to focus on herself and her mental health.

Simone Biles claimed to get a case of the twisties, which is a severe mental block, specifically in gymnastics. It causes the gymnast’s mind to feel disconnected from their body and inhibits certain skills from being executed. This is something Biles has suffered with before and had to overcome, according to the Olympics.

“We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day, we’re human, too,” Biles said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Simone Biles made it clear to everyone that focusing on your health is more important than competing and isn’t worth letting your team down.

“I didn’t want the team to risk a medal because of my screw-up,” Biles said during a press conference, according to Time.
Even though Biles was putting herself and her team first, she received harsh criticism all over social media.

Simone Biles was called a quitter by thousands of fans, and even referred to as a shame to the country, according to a video on the social platform X, previously known as Twitter.

“For anyone saying I quit, I didn’t quit,” Biles commented on Instagram, according to Sporting News.

During her self-recovery time, Biles got married to her fiance, Jonathan Owens, then later found herself ready to be back in the gym. Biles competed in the 2023 U.S. Classic, making it her first competition in two years, according to Sports Illustrated.

Even with nerves and jitters at her first competition back, Biles won by five points, proving to all her fans she isn’t a quitter and that the time away has only benefited her and her career, according to The Guardian.
For the years that Biles has competed on the Olympic team, she has been expected to lead the U.S gymnastics team to a gold medal. With her return and perseverance, that expectation has returned once again.

The U.S. team has won the gold medal for the past three summer Olympics and they hope to win again this year in Paris.

Simone Biles has recorded the three highest all-around scores in 2023 and has reclaimed her title as the best in the world, according to The Guardian.

Thousands have seen Biles as the world’s best gymnast since she was 16 years old and brought home her first gold medal.

This reputation as the world’s best has only seemed to grow after her case of the twisties.

Since Biles’ first Olympic appearance in Rio at 19 years old, she has been a top competitor and teammate. It can only be expected that a mental break is needed after competing at the highest level for so many years.

As a team leader, GOAT and record holder, expectations are beyond high, adding stress to competitions and execution.

So much pressure can have major effects not only on performance, but also mentally. Prioritizing your mental health is key in order to keep succeeding. Having a good and stable mentality will only benefit your physical health.

Mental and physical health are connected in all aspects. If your mental health is struggling, your physical health will follow, which is why allowing time away to focus on your mental health should always be acceptable.

Biles has individually won 30 world medals, with 23 of those being world gold medals, which is the most ever in gymnastic history, according to USA Gymnastics.

Not only do Biles’ stats prove she is the leader of the U.S. team, but she is also the best worldwide.

Having the ability to be open about focusing on mental health and taking time for yourself is something that can be harder than expected.

“People can’t see it, so it’s harder to understand, but I think that’s why it’s so important we feel empowered to open up about it,” Biles said to Good Housekeeping.

Biles is an idol to millions, and her open honesty has only added to her legacy in the gymnastics world and beyond.

Simone Biles was named the 2023 Associated Press Female Athlete of the year, and claimed her 21st world title with all-around gold at the world gymnastics championships in Belgium. These recent achievements have confirmed that her time away has allowed her to come back better than ever, being even more respected and reliable than before.

Simone Biles has overcome her fear of the twisties with the help of her teammates finding an even deeper love for the sport, inspiring herself to never give up.

“I think what success means to me is a little bit different than before, because before, everyone defined success for me, even if I had my own narrative that I wanted,” Biles told Olympics.

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