Gymnastics, Osaka, Simone Biles

Gymnastics, Osaka

Gymnastics-Biles says gymnastics not everything, 'we also have to focus on ourselves'

Gymnastics-Biles says gymnastics not everything, 'we also have to focus on ourselves'

27/7/2021 8:03:00 PM

Gymnastics-Biles says gymnastics not everything, 'we also have to focus on ourselves'

In the end, Simone Biles decided to pull out of the Tokyo 2020 team gymnastics finals on Tuesday because things just did not feel right after her ...

SportIn the end, Simone Biles decided to pull out of the Tokyo 2020 team gymnastics finals on Tuesday because things just did not feel right after her vault, saying mental health is more important than sports.Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Gymnastics - Artistic - Women's Team - Final - Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan - July 27, 2021. Simone Biles of the United States wearing a protective face mask is seen leaving a medical station during the final REUTERS/Dylan Martinez TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

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28 Jul 2021 12:35AMShare this contentBookmarkTOKYO: In the end, Simone Biles decided to pull out of the Tokyo 2020 team gymnastics finals on Tuesday because things just did not feel right after her vault, saying mental health is more important than sports.

Biles, who wrote on her Instagram just a day before about feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders, decided that rather than risk injury - and a medal for the rest of the team - she needed to just stop.AdvertisementAdvertisement"It's like fighting all those demons and coming out here. I have to put my pride aside. I have to do it for the team," she told reporters after the team competition, in which her teammates stepped up and took silver, one member only having a brief time to warm up before her routine. headtopics.com

"And then at the end of the day, it's like 'you know what, I have to do what is right for me and focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and my well-being,'" she said.Biles, considered by many to be the greatest female gymnast of all time, kept open the possibility of still competing in Tokyo, but said she would take it a day at a time. Individual all-around and apparatus competitions still remain.

By stepping back, and speaking up about it, Biles joins Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, who earlier this year dropped out of the French Open, citing the need to prioritize her mental health over taking part in mandatory news conferences after she was fined for not appearing.

AdvertisementAdvertisementOsaka lost in tennis earlier on Tuesday and said she too had felt the weight of expectations. She was the final torch bearer to light the Olympic cauldron at Friday's opening ceremony."I definitely feel like there was a lot of pressure, this time around," Osaka said."I think it's maybe because I haven't played in an Olympics before and for the first one to be here was a bit much."

"But I think I'm glad with how I played... with taking that break that I had. I've taken long breaks before and I've managed to do well," Osaka said.FEELING 'LOST'AdvertisementAfter the vault, Biles had a hasty conference with her team at the side of the runway, looking upset, before walking off the floor with her bag. She reappeared in her warm-up suit, watched her teammates snag silver, and even clowned around dancing with fellow teammate Jordan Chiles. headtopics.com

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But later she spoke of feeling"lost" after the vault and deciding that she needed to"call it," stressing that she made the decision and not her coaches.Prior to the Olympics, Biles said, she had been going through some things and using therapy and medicines to cope. But after coming into the Games, stresses began to build up.

Especially hard was the sense she was no longer doing gymnastics for herself, but for the rest of the world."It just sucks when you are fighting with your own head. You want to do it for yourself but you’re just too worried about what everybody else is going to say, think, the internet," she said.

By turns calm, philosophical and even joking with her teammates, Biles did choke back tears at one point."I just don't trust myself as much as I used to. I don't know if it's age, I’m a little bit more nervous when I do gymnastics. I feel like I’m also not having as much fun," added the 24-year-old owner of four Olympic gold medals and now two silvers.

"I know that this Olympic Games I want it to be for myself," she said, tearing up."I came in and it felt like I was still doing it for other people, so that just hurts my heart that doing what I love has been kind of taken away from me to please other people." headtopics.com

Robert Andrews, a mental training expert who worked with Biles for about four years from March 2013, told Reuters he suspected stress played a large factor in Tuesday's turn of events."Gymnastics probably more than any other sport ... requires laser, pinpoint focus," said Andrews."Being a global presence, the greatest of all time, all that starts creating interference."

Biles cited Osaka as an inspiration and said she thought it was good to be talking about mental health in sports."We also have to focus on ourselves because at the end of the day, we're human too. We have to protect our mind and our body rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do."

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(Additional reporting by Amy Tennery, Karen Braun and Leela deKretser, Writing by Elaine Lies; Editing by Bill Berkrot) Read more: CNA »

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Russian women win Olympics gymnastics team final after Biles exitRussia shouldn’t even be there. Their country had a state-run doping operation that lasted decades, and even tampered with samples in Sochi. When caught, they doubled down. They were supposed to be banned but they have lot of influence over the IOC. Ugly Biles FAIL!! Not a team player!! Hideous role model for athletes! Guess BL Don’t M!! Should have Stepped up instead!!

Gymnastics: Biles says 'mental health' concerns led to Olympic final withdrawalTOKYO: Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles said 'mental health' concerns had led to her withdrawal from the women's team final at the Tokyo Olympics ... I understand that people would have mental health issues but that’s what makes athletes a cut above the rest because they can overcome their emotions. They never give up even if they lose. But now, mental health becomes an excuse when one fails to win. I don’t get it. naomi-esque ? Nih dizamirza

Olympics-Gymnastics-Missteps on the mat before Biles' spectacular exitTOKYO: The discussion coming into the Tokyo Olympics was never about whether U.S. gymnast Simone Biles would win gold, but how many times. ... Would you consider this as the story 'Biles exit draws much needed focus on mental health' instead? She shouldn't be vilified for doing what is an important example for others suffering mental health challenges.

Gymnastics: Biles says 'mental health' concerns led to Olympic final withdrawalTOKYO: Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles said 'mental health' concerns had led to her withdrawal from the women's team final at the Tokyo Olympics ... I understand that people would have mental health issues but that’s what makes athletes a cut above the rest because they can overcome their emotions. They never give up even if they lose. But now, mental health becomes an excuse when one fails to win. I don’t get it. naomi-esque ? Nih dizamirza

Russian women win Olympics gymnastics team final after Biles exitRussia shouldn’t even be there. Their country had a state-run doping operation that lasted decades, and even tampered with samples in Sochi. When caught, they doubled down. They were supposed to be banned but they have lot of influence over the IOC. Ugly Biles FAIL!! Not a team player!! Hideous role model for athletes! Guess BL Don’t M!! Should have Stepped up instead!!

Olympics-Gymnastics-Missteps on the mat before Biles' spectacular exitTOKYO: The discussion coming into the Tokyo Olympics was never about whether U.S. gymnast Simone Biles would win gold, but how many times. ... Would you consider this as the story 'Biles exit draws much needed focus on mental health' instead? She shouldn't be vilified for doing what is an important example for others suffering mental health challenges.