When Simone Biles posted on social media on Monday that she had felt the weight of the world on her shoulders, and the weight became too much after her vault at team finals, global conversations began immediately. She lost herself in midair and completed one and a half twists instead of two and a half twists. After that she had consulted with U.S. team doctor Marcia Faustin before deciding to withdraw from the competition. Biles explained that she was having a little bit of “the twisties.” In the gymnastics world that can be described as a mental block, meaning your brain and body disconnect. Other gymnasts have said they have had the twisties and have been injured from doing a skill they have done a million times. She would go on to consult team doctors and withdraw from the individual all around competition, as well
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 29, 2021
USA Gymnastics said in a statement on Wednesday “We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.” Her team went on to win Silver and Sunisa Lee won the all-around Gold. This year Simone was a fan favorite and arguably “the face of the games.” Biles explained that she had tried to push through, but as soon as she realized her mental health was not where it needed to be this week, she decided to take a step back and let her teammates kill it
in the competition while she gets better. Biles was her team’s biggest cheerleader, helping all her teammates get to the top.
SUNI LEE WINS GOLD IN THE ALL-AROUND 🥇
An American woman has won every Olympic all-around since 2004! pic.twitter.com/oOcIeBvsRU
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 29, 2021
If you spent 4 years training for something, imagine how much it would take for you to step down on the last day of what you worked for? That seems to be the question being discussed on twitter, which has become the main forum for thousands of conversations about the situation. Opposers not really trying to understand her as much as they’re trying to prove what they would have done. The Mental Health community collectively has millions of perspectives that lead them to believe that the moment you have questions about your current mental state- taking a step back and slowing down is best. While the Sports community, current/former athletes of all levels or just fans, have a perspective that leads them to see it another way.
One could say conversation is the most vital aspect of growth in any situation. Whether with yourself of others, intense or relaxed, agreed or disagreed- a conversation is often times needed. The biggest takeaway from these situations has never been who’s wrong or right, but bringing awareness to the fact that Mental Health is a much more prevalent issue in some people’s lives than other’s. Gaining perspective takes these conversations on twitter and other social media, and as the conversations about Mental Health continues so will the process of stopping the stigma around it. Just think about that 8th grade health class diagram- your Mental, Physical, and Social health being well balanced equals the best version of you. Simone’s decision along with others like Kyrie Irving and Naomi Osaka, will some day strengthen the legacy of their impact.
Congratulations to Simone Biles, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, MyKayla Skinner, Jade Carey, and First time Olympic gold medalist, Sunisa Lee!