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American gymnast Simone Biles shocked the world for the second consecutive year during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Yesterday she withdrew from the team competition due to physical problems and announced on Wednesday that she would not take part in the women's individual all-around event, USA Gymnastics reported. The athlete's choice is driven by “mental health” reasons, which in turn raises a question: How do we know the time has come to interrupt our pursuit of success and prioritize self-care? ¿
At the age of 24, Biles made it to the Olympic Games in Tokyo as a prominent athlete on the US team. He is the face of the games for NBC, he has to fulfill the obligations of several sponsors and was also a central figure in the case against Lawrence G. Nassar, a doctor of the American gymnastics team, who was accused of abusing several athletes, including Simone.
Of course, she was also the big favorite to win the gold in the individual gymnastics all-around that would take place this Thursday, the same competition that she swept in Rio 2016.
It is worth remembering that this year Simone Biles was named the American gymnast with the most gold medals in a single Olympiad after winning four gold medals: team all-around, individual all-around, jump and floor. This time, however, he took a step back.
"After another medical examination, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the women's singles all-around event at the Tokyo 2020 Games to focus on her mental health," USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Twitter.
“Simone will continue to be evaluated on a daily basis as to whether she can take part in the equipment finale next week. Jade Carey, who scored ninth in qualifying, will take her place in the overall standings. around, "announced the organization.
“We fully support Simone's decision and welcome your courage to put your well-being in the foreground. His courage shows once again why he is a role model for so many ”, so the statement.
Simone Biles withdrew from the last individual all-around competition after a further medical examination. We wholeheartedly support Simone's decision and praise her courage to put her well-being first. Her courage shows once again why she is a role model for so many. pic.twitter.com/6ILdtSQF7o
– USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) July 28, 2021
"We have to protect our mind and our body and not only do what the world demands of us," says Simone Biles.
While the news has been confirmed by USA Gymnastics, Simone Biles is not the type to keep quiet and explain her decision.
"I didn't want to go on after my performance. I need to focus on my mental health. I think mental health is more present in sport right now," said Biles after the US team finished second. surpassed by the Russian Olympic Committee.
"We have to protect our mind and our body and not limit ourselves to doing what the world demands of us," emphasized the gymnast, who could barely keep up in the show jumping team meeting before she was treated. Her score was only 13,766, the worst of any member of the US team.
Minutes later it was officially announced that Simone Biles would withdraw from the finals and be replaced by Jordan Chiles.
The gymnast later reported on her feelings in a post on her social networks.
“Sometimes I really feel like I have the whole weight of the world on my shoulders. I know I forget and make it seem like the pressure isn't affecting me, but sometimes it's fucking hard hahaha! Olympia is not a joke! "He wrote.
Simone is now classified for the jump, uneven bars, floor and balance beam finals on August 1st, 2nd and 3rd, but is still being considered whether or not to participate.
Olympic Glory or Sanity? That is the dilemma
The pressure to perform perfectly and meet expectations weighed on the gymnast long before she hit Tokyo 2020. On Tuesday, Simone revealed that she was starting to "fight all these demons", couldn't contain them, and felt like she was lost until she wondered why she was here.
His participation in show jumping, in which he did not make the planned number of turns, made it clear that something was wrong. So the contemporary gymnast left the stage and walked out of the competition, saying she wasn't mentally prepared to move on.
Biles said he loved racing but "felt like he still did it for others". And he added, "My heart hurts because somehow they stopped me from doing what I love to please other people."
In doing so, Simone Biles joins other athletes of her generation who prioritize mental health over the expectations of others.
According to Steven Ungerleider, a sports psychologist from Oregon, USA, the postponement of the Olympics has increased the stress on athletes by changing their routines and life plans in an instant.
“You keep your pace because you know the fourth year is the Olympic year. (…) You prepare mentally, emotionally and physically and suddenly someone decides to postpone it and you sit down to bite your nails thinking, "I have to wait another year". Many fears are building up, "the specialist told the New York Times, adding that the absence of the public is also a demotivating factor because it is what feeds on as an athlete," he said.
In his remarks, Biles said that he reached the Olympics in good shape but was facing some problems that became more difficult every day. He explained that therapy and medication generally work, but that in stressful situations he becomes scared and unable to manage his emotions.
The gymnast confessed that she competed four or five years ago despite the risk of injury or ignoring her state of mind. However, maturity changed his perspective.
"Today something happened to me like: You know what, no, I don't want to do anything stupid to myself and hurt myself," Simone Biles explained. “It's just not worth it, especially when you have three great athletes who step up and make it. It is not worth " .
Mental health is ALWAYS a priority
For many people, whether entrepreneurs or employees, it is easy to ignore signs that something is emotionally wrong and focus on achieving their professional or business goals. They think that it doesn't matter how they feel as long as they are doing "productive" things.
Some signs that you should pay more attention to your mental health and perhaps take a break on your path to success include:
You find it difficult to concentrate on your tasks and that has reduced your productivity. Thinking about your work will panic or anxiety attacks. You are no longer looking forward to new projects in your area. Every morning you find it harder to get up, especially when you are thinking of going to work. You just stopped being happy with what you were doing.
Knowing when to retire to take care of your mental health isn't a mistake, it's just a respite to reorder and move on, even if it means a change of course.
The name Simone Biles has been written in gold letters in the history of the Olympic Games, gymnastics, sport and the USA, she has nothing left to prove. His decision teaches us that perhaps real success is to be satisfied with the medals you have won, rather than sacrificing your mental and physical health to get another.