Simone Biles Shows the World That Mental Health Is More Important Than an Olympic Gold Medal

Simone Biles is proving once and for all this week why she’s the greatest of all time—by deciding that not even an Olympic gold medal is more important than her mental health.

The 24-year-old shocked the world Tuesday when she abruptly withdrew from the Olympic team final—not because of injury, but because she wasn’t in a good “headspace.”

After admitting to her 5.4 million Instagram followers Sunday that she felt like she had the “weight of the world on [her] shoulders,” Biles went into the first rotation of the team finals on Tuesday feeling “off.”

She was attempting an advanced vault move which involves a back handspring with two-and-a-half twists in the air before landing. It’s a skill that Biles has executed flawlessly in previous competition, but fumbled through, uncharacteristically Tuesday.

“After the performance that I did, I didn’t want to go into any of the other events second guessing myself,” Biles later told reporters. “So I thought it was better if I took a step back and let these girls go out there and do the job and they did just that.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Simone Biles (@simonebiles)

Biles hugged her teammates, exited the floor with a team trainer, and later returned to cheer on her team from the sideline, wearing a white team warmup suit. In an unprecedented move at an unprecedented Olympic Games, Simone Biles made the courageous decision to remove herself from the competition–and it was one she was at peace with.

The decision, which resulted in the U.S. taking silver in the team event, has been met with widespread criticism and praise. But more importantly, it’s shining a light on the importance of prioritizing mental health from the world’s stage.

“We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day we’re human, too,” Biles said. “So, we have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Simone Biles (@simonebiles)

Bri Lamm
Bri Lamm is the Editor of An outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure, she lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese all while capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras. Follow her on Facebook.

Related Posts


Recent Stories