The big thing I’m thinking about today is Simone Biles and her decision to withdraw from competing at the Olympics today because of her mental health. While many have praised her decision to look after her well being, others have come out of their dark holes of negativity to call her weak, selfish, pathetic, etc.
Even though I’m not surprised by the nastiness, it still hurts to see.
Simone Biles is one of the greatest athletes of all time. She can do things that I sometimes can’t even comprehend, even when I watch her routines over and over again. Her skill, dedication, passion and resilience are unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
But at the end of the day, Simone is still a human being. She experiences hurt, pain, sadness, fear and insecurities just like the rest of us. She’s 24 years old and is trying to live up to the expectations of an entire country who is obsessed with proving to the rest of the world that they are the best in everything.
Simply put, that’s a lot of shit to deal with.
Simone withdrew from the competition, but she did not give up on her team. She could have left with no explanation, but she didn’t. She came back and supported her teammates through every event until the end. Not many others, especially those criticizing her, can say that they could do the same.
A team is something that goes beyond a single competition. It’s an expression of love and togetherness that different people can have with one another. If one person is down, everyone else steps up to help.
There really is no “I” in team.
Simone is and will always be a champion. She put herself and her health first in front of the entire world. And there should be no shame in that.
To those who couldn’t afford to share a little compassion today, I’m sorry. I can’t imagine how painful it is to live with such contempt and negativity in your hearts every single day. It sounds exhausting. I hope you get help.