“Simone’s Already Reached the Top”: USA’s Olympic Gold Winner Gable Steveson Gives His Take on Simone Biles’ Tokyo Olympics Withdrawal

Published 08/11/2021, 9:11 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Wrestling – Freestyle – Men’s 125kg – Medal Ceremony – Makuhari Messe Hall A, Chiba, Japan – August 6, 2021. Gold medallist Gable Steveson of the United States poses with his medal. REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw


The plaudits keep coming for Simone Biles’ after opening up about her mental health issues amidst the Tokyo Olympics. Despite winning five medals in Rio 2016, the gymnast withdrew from the team Artistic Gymnastics competition in Japan. With all the support coming in for her decision, Gable Steveson got on the bandwagon as well. The Olympic wrestling gold medalist in Tokyo spoke about athletes being able to make their own choices despite the problems they face.

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Gable spoke about the issues that faced athletes in terms of expectations and pressures, in a recent interview with FanSided.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Wrestling – Freestyle – Men’s 125kg – Gold medal match – Makuhari Messe Hall A, Chiba, Japan – August 6, 2021. Gable Steveson of the United States celebrates after winning gold against Geno Petriashvili of Georgia. REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

Gable Steveson shows his support for Simone Biles

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Notably, the wrestler spoke about the success he had in Japan and explained the importance of better mental health care for athletes. Likewise, he broke down Biles’ issue and the need for better mental healthcare.

“I mean I feel like everybody needs a break from sports, they do. There is sometimes I need a break. You know Simone’s already reached the top of legacy so I have no problem with her taking a break at the Olympic Games and coming back to get the bronze medal, there’s no problem with that.

“She’s already cemented herself as a great, and she’ll need no disrespect from nobody. She knows who she is, and she knows what she got going for her,” said Gable.

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

Despite performing well for their countries, he stood on the point of athletes needing a break from sports as well. Just like many people around the world, taking your mind off ‘work’ would help them get back refreshed and rejuvenated. That’s what Biles did.

Moreover, the boldness to come out of that situation speaks volumes about her personality and the value of mental health.

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Gable and Biles shine at Tokyo Olympics

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Even though she retreated from the team event, Biles came back and won the bronze medal in the finals of the balance beam. The victory sparked massive celebrations while becoming an iconic Olympic moment in Tokyo. The victory not only increased her medal count but gave hope to people who suffered from the same issue.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Women’s Beam – Medal Ceremony – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – August 3, 2021. Gold medallist Guan Chenchen of China, silver medallist Tang Xijing of China and bronze medallist Simone Biles of the United States pose with medals. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

In the meantime, Gable excited the crowd with his performances and won the gold medal in the men’s 125kg wrestling category in Japan. Although he trailed 8-7 in the final round, he came back from the deficit and provided a stunning victory with just 0.7 seconds on the clock. An incredible moment from a talented wrestler who seems to be on the rise. The wrestler defeated Taha Akgul from Turkey, who was the Rio 2016 gold medalist en route to the finals.

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The issues regarding mental health seem to be more open these days. Once considered a taboo, people are more receptive to the idea of opening up to their issues. To sum up, Biles’ decision is one for the present and the future as no event or a match is above one’s own mental health.

WATCH THIS STORY- Top 10 Greatest Moments in Olympic History

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Jacob Gijy

398 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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