The gymnast's message addressed the issue all Christians have to face.
When Simone Biles recently withdrew from the individual all-around finals that are taking place tomorrow the sporting world went into shock. The diminutive, powerful, and seemingly invincible gymnast was human after all.
Considered the greatest gymnast of all time, Biles has spent the last few years wowing crowds with her daring routines. Pulling off moves that were so complex and death-defying, that every time she performed she risked serious injury, or even death, if things didn’t go according to plan.
By making the decision to pull out of the competition for mental health reasons, the devout Catholic showed that she was human after all. And in her message to reporters she addressed her surprising decision:
“I have to put my pride aside. I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being. That’s why I decided to take a step back.”
Having been placed so high up on the gymnastics pedestal her decision to stop must have been as difficult as some of her intricate moves. But as the saying goes, “pride comes before a fall,” and in Biles’ case, that fall could have been deadly.
“At the end of the day, we’re human, too,” she said. “We have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.”
After winning the bronze medal (her seventh Olympic medal) in the individual balance beam event, Biles was just happy to compete again.
“[The bronze] means more than all the golds because I’ve been through so much the last five years and the last week while I’ve even been here; it was just… it was very emotional,” she said on NBC’s TODAY Show. “And I’m just proud of myself and all of these girls as well.”
“I didn’t really care about the outcome,” Biles said. “I was so happy that I made the routine and then I got to compete one more time.”
Her ability to combat her pride for all the world to see is just as impressive as her athletic skills. And no doubt the multi-championship winner will continue to lean on her faith as she continues to focus on her mental health.
While her fans around the world might have been disappointed that they didn’t get to see Biles perform all events in Tokyo, she has demonstrated her vulnerability and humility, which makes her even more of a champion!