When Simone Biles withdrew from gymnastics competitions at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, everybody held their breath. Normally, athletes do not take part in the competition due to physical injuries. However, Biles decided not to take part in the competitions because of mental health struggles. This became an iconic move in the history of gymnastics and the Olympics. However, many people had opposed this move.
It was one of the boldest moves taken by an athlete at the Olympics. But, she faced a lot of criticisms for putting her mental health first. However, the famous American comedian, Leslie Jones, slammed the people who criticized her for taking this decision.
Simone Biles is inspiring
During that time, the Texas attorney general called her ‘a national embarrassment’ while claiming her to be a quitter. This irked Jones, who went on a rant regarding the situation. She talked about the problems of people focusing on physical injuries and not mental health. She talked about the pressures of competing at a major sporting competition and explained how both physical and mental health is important for an athlete to compete. Hence, Jones felt ashamed of what happened during that situation
“The way that they attacked Simone Biles, I was ashamed of our country because, first of all, most of the people that complained were sitting on their fat asses on the couch. You’ll never do a cartwheel and you have the nerve to talk about someone and tell them that they let the country down? We have to start taking accountability that they are not actually superheroes. They do make it look like they’re superheroes, but they are humans,” said Jones.
After her infamous withdrawal from the team gymnastics competition, Biles did not leave Tokyo without a medal. Perhaps, that victory was important for her career, moving forward.
Bronze medal in the balance beam competition
She returned to win the bronze medal and shut down all the criticisms from different parts of the world. It was her seventh Olympic medal, and she tied with Shannon Miller, for the most by a US gymnast. It was a perfect way to back her decision as she returned to take home, yet another Olympic medal.
Thus, with all the hate she received, Biles is now a prominent advocate for speaking about mental health struggles. She takes part in forums and other interviews, explaining the importance of better mental health care for everyone.