After participating in the vault, Team USA gymnastics star Simone Biles exited the team all-around competition for a “medical issue.” In speaking with the media, Biles revealed that she “didn’t want to risk the team a medal” due to her screwing up and would see about Thursday in the individual all-around. Biles had been making some errors during qualifying and after a poor run on the vault, felt it was best to not tempt fate in her current mental state and risk making more errors and hurting the team.

After exiting the competition, Biles was on the sidelines cheering on her teammates and getting them what they needed as they finished the competition. Suni Lee stepped in on the other three events and along with Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum, finished with the silver medal as the Russian Olympic Committee (a.k.a. Russia) won gold.

Despite some criticism, the vast majority of those within the sports world are getting behind Biles for her difficult, but necessary decision. Maybe this doesn’t happen in past years but with more and more of an acceptance toward mental health, more and more people are understanding the rigors of what an Olympic athlete goes through. Especially one who is most definitely the face of her sport.

 

Simone Biles pulling out of the team all-around doesn’t mean she’s mentally weak, it’s in fact quite the opposite. She’s already gone through more in her young life than most people will go through their entire life.

Biles revealed she was sexually assaulted by former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar who is currently incarcerated for repeatedly sexually assaulting minors. Biles has competed through physical injuries, including this Olympics. On her Facebook Watch docuseries, Biles revealed she’s had a ligament injury in her foot in the run-up to Tokyo and is taping her foot because there’s no time for rehab. And on top of all this, Biles is the face of gymnastics and has literally said she feels she has the weight of the world on her shoulders and can’t wait for the Olympics to be over.

After all that, Biles went out there and tried and realized she didn’t have it today. The idea of someone acknowledging (and admitting) they’re being a detriment to their team shows a form of mental strength that very few people have or can even understand. Simone Biles might be the GOAT but if she can’t get into a mental state to pull off moves that literally no other human being can do, then she is hurting her team and might potentially hurt herself. To ignore that and not listen to what her body and her mind is telling her, that would’ve been mentally weak.

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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