SIMONE BILES, THE PEOPLE'S CHAMPION OF GYMNASTICS, GRACEFULLY BOWED OUT OF THE COMPETITION AFTER AN UNSTEADY START TO TEAM USA'S PERFORMANCE, FOLLOWING A MISSTEP IN ONE ROTATION OF THE FAMED AMANAR VAULT THAT COULD HAVE ENDED IN INJURY OR WORSE.
Unable to complete the full rotation, after getting lost midair, Biles thankfully and safely stuck her landing. Gymnast have a name for the phenomenon of getting lost whilst flipping called "Twisties", a word for a mental block in which gymnasts lose their spatial awareness in the middle of complex skills. It is a well-known, terrifying and dangerous sensation for gymnasts according to sources at the Guardian.
Biles withdrew from the competition shortly after. Biles’ gymnastics coach told NBC that "Physically she is fine. But she is done for the night." She swiftly told her teammates that they would be fine and that "they'd trained their whole lives for this moment."
Various critics took to social media condemning the Olympian for seemingly "forsaking" America for "childish reasons". Many attacked her professionalism and diminished her reasoning from stepping out of the competition.
One in particular was Texas Deputy Attorney General, Aaron Reitz on Tuesday tweeted a video of the gymnast Kerri Strug, who competed with an injured ankle to help Team USA win gold in 1996, writing, "Contrast this with our selfish, childish national embarrassment, Simone Biles." His damning and rather negative rhetoric was vehemently met with disdain and judgment. Immediately all of Twitter took to Biles's defense and demanded an apology from Reitz for his flagrant and insensitive commentary. His post was quickly deleted and he issued an apology. Check out Reitz's apology as well as what those in agreement with him, such as Piers Morgan, had to say.
Check out what others in support of Biles had to say about her withdrawal from the competition.
The "black women are strong" trope often leads to placing black women in various predicaments in which they are forced to perform regardless of their mental or physical state. We can see this in the backlash Biles receives after stepping away from the games. Expecting black women to run themselves ragged in spite of any personal pain or discomfort is reminiscent of being a mule or slave of sorts. Biles owes nothing to anyone, as she got to where she is off of her own talents and strengths; she has every right to remove herself on her own strength and accord as well.
Biles took to Twitter to share her appreciation for those who've been supportive of her journey throughout the 2021 Tokyo Olympics however short it may have been cut. And as if her fervor to remain champion carried on to her teammate Suni Lee brought home Gold in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's All Around in which she celebrated joyously with Biles back at their Tokyo suite.
Even after bowing out of the earlier competition and receiving criticism, Biles made a graceful comeback to earn the Bronze medal in the Women's Balance Beam event. Having the weight of an entire country on your shoulders is too much to bare let alone carry as Simone Biles has done successfully for so long. It's important to extend grace for surely there are battles she faces in and outside of competition. What are your thought on this matter? We would love to know what you think so please leave a comment down below; possibly share words of support for this young super star.
Written by Precious Onukwuli