Biles Says She Is Proud To Bring The Topic of Mental Health This Olympics

Published 08/03/2021, 1:03 PM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Women’s Team – Final – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – July 27, 2021. Simone Biles of the United States during the Women’s Team Final REUTERS/Mike Blake


Simone Arianne Biles is an American artistic gymnast. Having a combined total of 32 Olympic and World Championship medals, Biles has tied with Larisa Latynina as the most decorated gymnast of all time.

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Biles made her long-awaited return to the Olympic Games on Tuesday, taking bronze in the beam final won by Chinese teenager Guan Chenchen at the Ariake Gymnastics Center.

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Simone Biles competes on the floor at the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics trials in St Louis, Missouri, U.S. June 25, 2021. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson. This was true, the US superstar’s first taste of competition in Tokyo. Last week, she decided to step down from the competition during the women’s team finals. Since she was struggling with the “twisties”, condition meaning gymnasts lose the ability to orientate themselves in mid-air.

It was Biles’ seventh Olympic medal, equaling Shannon Miller’s record for an American gymnast. The four-time gold medalist from the Rio Games received a huge cheer from her US teammates when she entered the arena.

Simone’s performance on the beam

While participating, she looked pensive on her comeback. Moreover, she waited for her turn to climb up onto the 10cm wide beam for her 90-second routine. Without performing any twists, she put in a solid performance, ending with a double backward somersault, double pike dismount. Her face was visibly breaking into a broad grin. However, she waved after earning 14.000 points.

Biles take pride in spreading awareness about mental health

Biles, the most successful gymnast in the world and a survivor of sexual abuse by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, prioritized her well-being over an audience hungry for her performance. Therefore, she stepped down from the team final and the individual all-around competition because she had “to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health.”

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Biles said, “So, we have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.

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Furthermore, she wrote in an Instagram post in which she explained in detail the issues she’s been having.“It’s honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind & body in sync. 10/10 do not recommend.”

Biles has most certainly sparked numerous conversations on the topic of mental health amongst the masses. It was definitely a long-overdue topic of discussion.

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Divya Chaturvedi

95 articles

Divya Chaturvedi is an Olympic Athletics author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing her Under Graduate degree in Psychology from the University of Delhi. She's also an internationally recognized athlete, specializing in Shot Put and Discus, representing India at the International Children's Games held in Australia has been one of the biggest feats in her endeavor so far. Having participated in The Road to Wimbledon and representing the state several times, she bagged a number of titles for the same.

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