Tokyo Olympics, Olympics 2021, Simone Biles, Olympic Sports, Artistic Gymnastics

Tokyo Olympics, Olympics 2021

Simone Biles has changed what it means to be an elite gymnast

More than the 🐐 Simone Biles has changed what it means to be an elite gymnast. @alyroe has more on her incredible journey ⬇️

8/3/2021 5:01:00 PM

More than the 🐐 Simone Biles has changed what it means to be an elite gymnast. alyroe has more on her incredible journey ⬇️

While inventing new skills and winning an astonishing number of medals, Simone Biles has also demonstrated a different way to win. She is paving the way for other gymnasts to use their own voices to create change in a sport that desperately needs it.

All of that is backdrop to last Tuesday's team final in Tokyo. When, one rotation into the meet, Biles withdrew from the competition, gymnasts and gymnastics fans lauded her decision. Her teammates and coaches wholeheartedly supported it. They knew the danger she posed to herself and the team's potential for a medal if she continued while suffering such a severe mental block that she was becoming disoriented in the air on twisting skills. They also knew Biles would support them if the roles were reversed.

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"I was 14 y/o w/ a tibial stress fracture, left alone w/ no cervical spine exam after this fall," 1996 Olympic gold medalistDominique Moceanu wrote on Twitterabove a video of her slipping during a beam performance at the 1996 Games and landing on her head."Simone Biles' decision demonstrates that we have a say in our own health -- 'a say' I NEVER felt I had as an Olympian."

The revelations around Nassar and the mental and psychological abuse of gymnasts by coaches and the U.S. national team staff have laid bare the cost of all those gold medals. The past five years have primed the gymnastics community to cheer any gymnast who choses safety over sport, mental health over medals and team over self, especially the greatest gymnast of all time.

Because of her decision, conversations are currently taking place around the world that Biles cannot control. Casual sports fans who know nothing of her unending commitment to her sport, her teammates and a country that has failed her over and again can call her selfish or a quitter.

Then they can Google the 2018 world championships in Doha, Qatar, where she led the U.S. to its largest margin of victory in history, posted the highest scores on beam, vault and floor and performed a vault (today called the"Biles") that no woman in the world had previously completed. All while passing a kidney stone."The kidney stone can wait," Biles posted on Twitter after an ER visit 24 hours before competition."Doing it for my team."

In 2018, Biles wore a teal leotard to raise awareness for sexual assault and honor fellow Nassar survivors -- then won the all-around at world championships with a painful kidney stone. Francois Nel/Getty ImagesOr 2018 nationals in Boston, where she won the all-around title with broken toes on both feet.

Or 2019 nationals, at which Biles won her sixth U.S. all-around title hours after breaking down in tears during a group interview in which a journalist revealed to her that a recently released congressional investigation concluded the USOPC and USAG"knowingly concealed" Nassar's abuse.

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Or her masterful 2016 Olympic performance, when she won a record-tying five Olympic medals, and when it was still unknown to the world that Biles and her teammates had been molested for years by their U.S. team doctor.Or any of the countless interviews Biles has given since 2018 calling for accountability for her and her sister survivors by USAG, the USOC and the FBI or advocating for women, Black women and foster kids.

Or how about any women's gymnastics event this past week in Tokyo. While former elites posted on social media about their own harrowing experiences competing with injuries and when they knew they were a danger to themselves, Biles resisted the pressure to compete before she was ready. Instead, she sat in the crowd and loudly cheered her teammates as they shined in her absence. She waited until after competition ended to reveal how difficult the past week has been for her."It's not easy giving up on a dream of five years," Biles said after beam finals.

When she returned to competition Tuesday, she was not a favorite to win gold on beam. She downgraded her dismount from a double-twisting double tuck to a double pike out of caution. And when she landed, smiled and grabbed her heart in relief, she showed that being the greatest of all time is about more than medals.

For decades, gymnasts did not believe they had agency over their bodies and decision-making. They did not believe they had a voice. They did not believe, if they used their voices, that they would be heard. They spent the years after retiring from the sport healing from the trauma they endured. So, to watch an elite gymnast --

theelite gymnast -- make the choice Biles made in real time and on the sport's greatest stage was remarkable. She changed the game again. Read more: ESPN »

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alyroe Changed? That 'elite' is now denoted by a Bronze medal? It's awesome that she went back out there and crushed it. That's inspiring. But is it necessary to give extra credit for bowing out? What about those that hung in there? They get less coverage bc ESPN MUST prove a point.

All About “Biles and Chiles”: Simone Biles and Jordan Chiles’s Sweet Friendship. Here, everything you should know about these two Olympic athletes, the way they support each other, and a mentorship story for the ages.

Piers Morgan says Simone Biles has 'taken his advice' as she announces comebackPiers Morgan has been vocal about disagreeing with Olympian Simone Biles ' decision to withdraw from several events during the Tokyo Olympics . When it was announced that she would be competing on Tuesday the bolshy presenter took credit for her decision You reckon piersmorgan will take the piss out of this girl?

Jackie Joyner-Kersee on Simone Biles' Olympic Withdrawal: 'She Was Brave'Today, gymnast Simone Biles announced that she would resume competing in the Olympic Games. But, six-time gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee tells Rolling Stone, the conversation she started is an important one. she’s stunning and brave to come back for one event after her PR team told her she needs to come back to keep the sponsor money coming ? She started the conversation? Really? I guess when it's non-Americans who start it, it doesn't matter, right?

Simone Biles says winning bronze on beam ‘means more than all the golds’Biles won bronze in the individual balance beam final Tuesday, her seventh Olympic medal. Love this superstar!! This is such BS. Idolizing people for cracking under pressure.... it’s crazy! When you interview someone please don’t ask about Simone in every question. You’re turning the Interview into the Simone Q&A

Simone Biles Says Her Bronze Medal 'Means More Than All of the Golds'The 24-year-old gymnast withdrew from four competitions in the Tokyo Olympics due to mental health struggles.

Simone Biles says Tokyo bronze means more than all her golds Simone Biles says her bronze medal win on the balance beam in Tokyo means more than her gold medals because it represents her focus on mental health and her perseverance. Mentality of a loser! 🤡🤡🤡 Can we just focus on the gold medalists at this point