When Paige Spiranac Rushed to the Aid of Simone Biles: ‘She Did What She Needed to Do to Protect Herself’

Published 11/20/2021, 11:28 AM EST


The life of a professional athlete is not always glamor, trophies, and medals. So, when they speak up about the anxiety and pressure they feel, it appears foreign to many people. Earlier this year, American sensational gymnast Simone Biles made headlines for her stand on mental health. And standing in solidarity with her was former golfer and social media personality Paige Spiranac herself.

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DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 09: Paige Spiranac of United States plays her fourth shot at the par 5, 10th hole during the first round of the 2015 Omega Dubai Ladies Masters on the Majlis Course at The Emirates Golf Club on December 9, 2015 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles came in as the ultimate favourite. However, after 8 years of domination and perfection, the mounting pressure seemed to have overwhelmed the reigning Olympic champion as she struggled with bouts of ‘twisties’, a state of a mental block in gymnastics.

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Following this, she backed out of the team finals. She felt that her poor performance could not only put her at risk of an injury but also be detrimental to the result of the team, which eventually went to win a silver medal. Moreover, she backed out of the line-up of her apparatus finals.

Paige Spiranac stands in solidarity with Simone Biles

Unsurprisingly, Biles’ bold move attracted a lot of positive, as well as some negative comments. Her fans, who were hungry for more gold-winning performances, stood by her in these tough times. However, many called her selfish, weak and a disgrace to America.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 14: Simone Biles of the United States looks on prior to the Women’s Vault Final on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Commenting on the situation herself, the 7-time Olympic medallist wrote on Instagram, “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 hahaha! The olympics is no joke!”

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Paige Spiranac came to her rescue, and in a tweet, backed her decision. She wrote, “Simone Biles did not quit on her team. She is competing the most difficult skills in the world. It isn’t like a layup or swinging a golf club. What she’s doing is extremely dangerous and she did what she needed to do to protect herself. She is the GOAT.”

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Well, that she definitely is. Moreover, it is extremely heartwarming to see one athlete standing in support of another. Mental health is one aspect of sports that is always neglected. However, it is high time we appreciate our sport icons for more than just their skills, for their ability to take on the pressure of millions.

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Ishita Bhargava

240 articles

Ishita Bhargava is a Golf content writer at Essentially Sports. Currently pursuing her undergraduate degree from the Shri Ram College of Commerce, she has a keen interest in sports and fitness. When not playing or watching a sports event, Ishita can be seen spending time with her pets or binge-watching.

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