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September 26, 2021

8/25/2021 2:23:00 PM
Simone Biles reminds us that Mental Health IS Health, period.
The Summer Olympics has always been an event I look forward to watching.
However, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics gave me a reason to be even prouder to watch.
The inspiration behind that was from no other than U.S. Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles.
While Biles performed during the competition, it looked like she suffered numerous mishaps. I remember seeing recaps of her while going through those missteps in the floor and vault competitions. However, she was still able to qualify for the all-around.
However, Biles felt the pressure was on wondering if she was able to continue, thus putting an Instagram Post out into the world saying that things were just not lining up mentally. While she ultimately came back for the balance beam event, I can't help but be disappointed in the negative feedback pushed her way.
To those who have deemed Biles as "weak" and a "shame to the country," let me ask you this..
When was the last time you were participating in life defying acrobatic events? I would imagine a big percentage of people can't say they have been in her shoes. I know I haven't. I watch gymnasts like herself with a hooded sweatshirt shielding my eyes as they have carried out death defying tricks.
Let's also not forget that she was one of many female gymnasts who went through terrible trauma after being sexually abused by disgraced USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar.
To have that trauma, on top of the whole world watching her break more records, it is no wonder it all became too much. While she is very lucky to not have been physically hurt, my heart breaks for her knowing that her mental health wasn't in check during one of the most important milestones in her life.
Let this be a lesson to all of us. While she may be a record breaking gymnast, she is first and foremost a human. She needs to be treated with the decent humanity and grace that she deserves.
My grandmother had a saying that reigns true in this situation. "Before you call someone out on their dirty doorstep, make sure yours is swept off."
Thank you Simone Biles for reminding us that Mental Health IS Health. For that reason, you will always be the GOAT to me.

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