Simone Biles: Putting Mental Health First
The Olympic Games are a display of the best athletes in the world competing while the media and spectators debate who is the “greatest of all time.” Athletes are elevated to heroic status for a moment — until they fall; as all humans do, eventually. This year, the GOAT of life is Simone Biles — and the other women — who have modeled to the world what it means to have healthy priorities above all else.
In her words: “We have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.”
That takes courage! Huzzah! to Simone who recognized that she needed to take care of her mental health above performance and went against the pressure of society and do what’s best for herself.
Nobody gets to the “top” without having the right people around them and clearly, Simone does, as she herself acknowledged. “That’s why we have teammates, because if somebody’s feeling down, you have to step up. And they did just that. So kudos to them… I had the correct people around me to do that,” she said at a news conference following her announcement that she would withdraw from the individual all-around competition.
Simone is quoted as saying, “I’m going to go out there and represent the USA, represent World Champions Centre and represent Black and brown girls (all) over the world.”
Simone, you did just that, and then some, in your decisions displayed for the world to see. Self-care is healthy and right. Putting your team before your own ego/goals/aspirations is healthy and admirable. Going against society’s demands is courageous! You’ve exceeded our expectations by showing us that behind the performance is a real person who deserves compassionate care. In this, there is no shame!