Simone Biles quit on team USA and her teammates due to the pressure of performing and grappling with mental health issues at the Tokyo Olympics.
Biles has won an incredible 27 medals at the Olympics and in international competitions. She will go down as one of the best gymnasts of all time.
Here is the statement from Biles. “We also have to focus on ourselves because, at the end of the day, we’re human, too. 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.”
“I truly do feel like I weigh the world on my shoulders at times,” Biles said in an Instagram post. “I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me. But damn, sometimes it’s hard, hahaha! The Olympics is no joke!”
However, anytime the stakes are high, and the competition is first class, there is pressure. You cannot get away from that.
Mental health is a serious issue and should be dealt with appropriately. Get some professional help, step away from the spotlight. Focus on getting yourself well.
However, here is the issue I have.
Why do we treat female athletes differently than male athletes when it comes to mental health issues? There is an apparent double standard, and the media is complicit in driving the narrative this way.
The greatest Olympic swimmer of all time suffered from mental health issues and was suicidal at one point in 2014. “I can tell you I’ve probably had at least half a dozen depression spells that I’ve gone through. And the one in 2014, I didn’t want to be alive” Phelps said speaking to Today.
This was following his arrest for driving under the influence and USA Swimming issuing Phelps a six-month suspension.
But Phelps never quit. He never signed up to represent his country at the Olympic games only to drop out before a big swimming event.
Imagine the scorn that would have been directed at Phelps if he had backed out of a big event at the last minute.
The Twitter keyboard warriors would have a field day. The talking heads on all the major sports networks would still be talking about it today.
Phelps and Biles are not the only Olympic athletes to struggle with mental health issues. In the HBO film “The Weight of Gold” Phelps, including speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, snowboarder Shaun White, skier Bode Miller, hurdler Lolo Jones, and figure skater Sasha Cohen talk about their own struggles with mental health.
However, there is absolutely a double standard when it comes to how the media treats male athletes versus female athletes. Especially when the conversation centers around mental health issues. If a female athlete like Simone Biles or Naomi Osaka has mental health issues and needs to step away from competition, they are heroes and praised for doing a noble thing.
If it’s a male athlete, they are ridiculed non-stop, told to suck it up, quit being a baby, and that they need to toughen up.
I am sick and tired of the double standard. I am sick and tired of the pampering of certain athletes from the media when it relates to mental health issues.
My opinion only. Biles realized the competition was a bit steeper than what she had faced before. She had a feeling she would not be able to have the performance that she wanted to. So Biles used the mental health crisis as an out for her to withdraw from the team competition.
Yet, she is still feeling well enough to compete in the individual events. One would think that if you’re having a mental health crisis, you would be on the next plane back to the states to get some professional help.
We now have confirmation that Biles will not be competing in any individual events.
Are things going to change going forward in how we treat male athletes vs. female athletes in their handling of mental health issues?
No. The media today is not fair. They have an agenda, be it in their news reporting or sports reporting. They will stop at nothing to slam their agenda and their point of view (right or wrong) down the collective throats of the American people.
And that is the real shame.