A ‘no’ from one strong athlete shocked the sports world and the audience at Tokyo Olympics this week. Simone Biles is among the most decorated and acclaimed gymnasts of all time. She withdrew from the Olympics, citing the protection of her physical and mental health. It seemed like a hallmark for an era to come in the sports world, depicting the empowerment of an athlete.
Athletes are continuing to grow strong and take a stand for themselves apart from social justice. Making a choice is essential to achieving the goals while staying strong. Simone says that the athletes must choose to do it as much as their coach or parents want it. She explained her decision of withdrawing from the team competition, saying today was like a no.
This was a simple act of courage and resistance the world can see in recent times. Simone backed four gold medals in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She was expected to take home at least three medals this time. However, she surpassed all these achievements by voicing out her well-being. It is a rarity in a world that commodifies prize-winning above everything.
Simone threw a wrench at these systems with her act of resistance. She put a firm wall amid herself and the savage burden of these competitions. Her ‘no’ was a clear indication that it is enough. She withdrew from the team, and most individual events after anxiety manifested in twists. Simone’s writings on her Facebook page read that she often feels the entire world’s weight on her. She added that the Olympics are not a joke.
Simone could’ve stood up in the glare, won more medals, and retire. But her choice to clearly state that she’s done with it all shows that she foresaw what could happen in the future. She’s still processing everything but, a few things seemed clear. She says that she has learned the most of herself during the Tokyo Olympics.
She adds that she could see how courageous and brave of a person she really is. Simone shared that she likes faking bravery, and that was her motivation to voice her opinions and put herself first. She added that Tokyo wasn’t what she wanted but, it did feel more for what she felt. It bought out the courage and strength in her. So, she isn’t sure of what is in store for Paris in 2024.
Being to five world championships and two Olympics was definitely more than the wildest fantasies for someone who just wanted to do college gymnastics. Simone added that she wouldn’t have any regrets whatsoever if this would mean the end for it. She plans to spend most of her time with her family and friends right now. She stood as a true champion, letting it all out and emphasizing its necessity now. She is a true inspiration for the entire world and every athlete out there dreaming of winning big.