Tokyo 2020

Tokyo 2020

Simone Biles & Co. deserve praise for making Tokyo 2020 the Mental Health Games

The American gymnast's decision to focus on her wellbeing has been met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction.

7/29/2021 3:20:00 PM

'I have never been as inspired or as energised by the humanity of an Olympic Games as this one. Thank goodness, and the strength of some incredible athletes, for it.' Tokyo2020

The American gymnast's decision to focus on her wellbeing has been met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction.

Simone Biles’ decision to focus on her mental health, rather than compete, has been the story of the Olympics so far (Picture: Getty)Are we there yet? Have we come full circle? If we haven’t, then I’m sure we will. If you’ve been paying attention, then you’ll already know this is the Mental Health

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Olympics, the Games where we finally see elite sport as a test of mental as well as physical strength, and applaud the message that sends to the rest of us.But as sure as night follows day, as certain as public dissection follows Olympic celebration, we’ll soon be dismissing all that ‘wokeness’ as an excuse for poor performance, as a get-out for not performing to the standards our privileged, unearned, unprofessional and entirely fickle status as armchair expert demands.My apologies, I see some have been at that already.

Well, allow me to borrow and paraphrase the wisdom of someone who has quietly embodied the very essence of these Games so far, though entirely unintentionally.the outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before. 🤍

— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles)July 29, 2021The Dutch cyclist, Tom Dumoulin, had just won the Olympic silver medal in the men’s cycling time trial, when I saw him, athletically perfect and chiselled of jaw, gently crying a little way along from the finish line.

The sight of this physically honed, emotionally overwhelmed athlete could have been the visual headline of the Games. It wasn’t the weight of expectation of a gold that had moved the former world champion, nor was it the winning of Olympic silver per se, since he had won the same colour four years before; rather it was the magnitude of everything he had been through to get this far.

Dumoulin had taken the unprecedented step earlier this season of announcing indefinite leave from his cycling team, saying he needed a break from the pressure and expectation of professional racing.Simone Biles pulled out of the team and all-round events, but is still hoping to compete in several individual competitions (Picture: Getty)

That team, Jumbo Visma, publicly supported his decision and kept his place on the squad but there was a general assumption we were witnessing step one of the champion’s inevitable retirement, that there could be no way back from what looked certain to be the pointy end of a spiralling tailspin.

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Except, Dumoulin did come back, with a genuine smile, a renewed passion for the sport and now with an Olympic medal that seemed impossible to even consider six months ago.‘I definitely wouldn’t have won this medal if I hadn’t taken that break,’ he told me after returning from the podium. But interestingly, he also said he had no wish to use his story as a platform for mental health awareness, that he was simply doing his thing, his way. He said he hoped others could learn to do what was right for them, to not feel pressured into living a life according to the expectation of others, but that he was only doing what he needed to do.

This is the point the anti-woke brigade entirely miss. None of these athletes are performing for you, or any of us for that matter. They’re not blaming you, or anyone, for their struggles to cope with the weight of expectation. And they certainly don’t owe any of us out here, watching from the distance of our smart phones or living rooms, anything. So, there’s no need to take offence.

We can debate the pressures of elite sport, and our role in it, as fans, as active engagers on social media or as journalists, as we have been doing extensively over the last few months.From Naomi Osaka to Simone Biles, opinion is, at times, fiercely divided on whether they should be afforded a right to step away from the pressures of 24/7 media and a sports sponsorship and competition world that doesn’t allow for an off switch, or whether they have sold their souls to the Devil and must continue to perform for our entertainment. Or our distraction. Or our sadistic need to see others suffer just because we do.

Talking with Sir Bradley Wiggins on the latest episode of his podcast, he told me he has not missed a single thing about competing in an Olympic Games in his role here as pundit for Eurosport, because he never enjoyed it at the time. Any of it.He literally did not take pleasure from one minute of competing, building up to the big moment or even training to get that far. It was all about the ticking of the box and the celebration thereafter. He still isn’t sure why he put himself through it all, other than to fulfil a sense of destiny.

Read more: Metro »

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The Mental health games. Get F*CKED Will she pay back money invested in her sport endeavors to satisfy investors' well-being?

Simone Biles hints she could withdraw from remainder of Tokyo Olympic GamesThe 24-year-old pulled out of the women’s team event, citing a desire to prioritise her mental health. She's been under a lot of pressure and expectations. At some point she has to call a halt, in order to protect herself. It makes sense, too bad it has to be now. Absolutely the right thing to do. USMC_Razorback Yank the GOAT designation.

Simone Biles Has Pulled Out Of The Olympics Team Final CompetitionSimone Biles appeared to suffer an injury while competing on the vault at the 2021 Olympics. But what happened and how is Simone Biles injured? Read more on Grazia.

Simone Biles exits women’s Olympic team gymnastics final with ‘medical issue’Simone Biles was forced to withdraw from the women’s team final at the Tokyo Games due to an unspecified medical issue after struggling on her opening vault This what happens when you put 2nd rate affirmative action blacks on the team wow Like so with so many of the athletes, the extra year, no family and friends, and empty stands has created a mental health crisis so we are not going to see the best of the best.

Simone Biles flooded with support after she drops out of women’s Olympic gymnastics finalSimone Biles, the most successful US gymnast of all time, has pulled out of the women’s gymnastics final and fans have flooded her with support.

Simone Biles gives response on her team final exit - follow Tokyo 2020 liveAnother day at Tokyo2020 kicks off soon with big basketball, cycling and equestrian events ahead. Follow Olympics LIVE here. Taekwondo Olympian goes viral for being a lookalike to Lady Gaga Tokyo2020 SimoneBiles 🚴🚴🏻‍♀️🏇🏇⛹🏼⛹🏿

Piers Morgan criticised for ‘nasty’ comments about Simone Biles’ Olympics withdrawalCommenters argued the presenter was once singling out a woman of colour He’s just click bait these days What a gob shite! Wish his dad had withdrawn!