“I’m Worth More Than Gold Medals”-Simone Biles Reveals The Thought Process Behind Her Withdrawal From Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 10/28/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 03: Simone Biles of Team United States in action during the Women’s Balance Beam Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)


Due to the sheer lack of awareness, people often do not acknowledge the importance of mental health. But, Simone Biles, the most decorated Artistic Gymnast, fears no one while talking about it.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Biles took up this topic seriously, while she was participating in the Summer Games, held in Tokyo. Although she won a bronze and a silver in 2 events, she chose to step down from the other 3. Biles made the most of a global platform and voiced her concerns about her mental wellbeing. Unfortunately, not everyone was supportive of this. On the one hand, some people showed her unconditional support. But on the other, she faces a lot of criticism for expressing herself fully.

WATCH STORY- WWE Raw Results: Bianca Belair And Becky Lynch Brawl, Seth Rollins Steps Up To Big E And More!

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 27: Simone Biles of Team United States smiles during the Women’s Team Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre in July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Biles opens up about her mental health

In spite of the world increasingly grasping new concepts and becoming modern, mental health continues to be a taboo. Talking about the same, Biles had a few crucial things to talk about during her recent interview.

Biles decided to not participate in 3 out of 5 events at the Olympics in Tokyo. Talking about her experience she said, “In that moment, I had no choice but to do it because selfishly if I weren’t having the twisties, me having my mental, like wellbeing so down in the gutter, I would have kept going, but there was a point where my mind and my body had had enough. And it literally was telling me to stop or else I was going to end something um that I started years ago and not to be able to walk again.”

Mental health is a sensitive topic to open up about. Not everyone is comfortable or bold enough to talk about their feelings, especially in front of a gigantic crowd. But, Biles did so with grace and strength.

“I am a human”, says Simone Biles

She further added by saying that, “So thankfully, mine was intact and unfortunately it was on the biggest stage of my career. But at the end of the day, it’s like I was worth more than gold medals. I was worth more than gymnastics at the end of the day. I’m not just an athlete, I’m a human and you guys have to realize that. And I knew I was going to get a lot of backlashes and I did, but most of it was a lot of support and love, strength, courage, and that’s something that I never felt before in the sport because people always put me on a pedestal when all I wanted to be as normal.

I wanted to be human. I wanted to be looked at as the same as you. I go to the grocery store, I have bills, I have dogs, I have these things. It’s just, I do something and I’m incredibly well at it. So why put me on a pedestal when I always wanted to be seen as normal?

Both physical and mental health are important in sports

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Commonly everyone thinks that only physical health plays an important role for the sportsperson to perform. But, this is not the case. Dealing with performance stress and other such pressures can either make or break the athlete. Biles ardently believes the same.

Elaborating on this she said that “So, unfortunately, it took all of that for people to see me as normal but it’s also hard for people to understand they can see physical injury but whenever it’s a mental injury it’s like, you can’t see it. They can’t understand. Therefore it’s no longer valid.”

TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 03: Simone Biles of Team United States reacts before the Women’s Balance Beam Final at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on August 03, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)

Biles is undoubtedly one of the boldest personalities. She took up an extremely essential issue on an international level and has taught the world a huge lesson. With personalities like her in the field of sports, advancing towards the betterment of society does not seem like an impossible idea.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Divya Chaturvedi

145 articles

Divya Chaturvedi is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing her Undergraduate 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 in Australia has been one of the biggest feats in her endeavor so far.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT