Simone Biles: gymnastics superstar seen as a “role model” on and off the mat

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“She has shown that she is a role model, not just an athlete, but a leader for everyone.” New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told TMZ on Capitol Hill as she congratulated Olympian gymnast Simone Biles on her decision to take a break from competition to focus on her sanity, and little time after, to come back to win another medal for the American team. New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, commented on Biles’ return to balance beam to win an Olympic bronze medal in the competition. Former Team USA gymnast Nastia Liukin said: “She’s leading the next generation and showing them it’s okay not to be well, even when you’re the best ever.” Simone Biles is known as one of the greatest gymnasts of all time having accumulated 32 Olympic medals. Biles, 24, has received a wave of support from his peers, fans and other voters over his conscious decision to prioritize his mental health over his career. It is quite a burden for athletes to have to prioritize their mental health as it is a very important aspect of a person’s overall stability. The topic of mental health in sports is a conversation that is long overdue. Competitors face immense pressure from all angles to succeed and perform to be the best in their respective sport. Personal and societal pressures are compounded by the expected physical wear and tear of the body. Athletes train and train for long periods of time so that they can play and compete to the best of their ability. As athletes, like any other human being, age, their bodies don’t work the same way they did when they were younger. Injuring yourself at a younger age is more feasible than at an older age, as the body can heal and rebuild itself faster and more efficiently. There are many factors in which an athlete’s mental health can take a toll on him, leading to a decrease in his performance and an unhappy scrutiny in the public eye. They have the stigma of their entire existence, being uniquely an athlete rather than a basic human being. While Simone Biles didn’t go into specifics of what she’s going through, her simple statement about the need to focus on her sanity has inspired everyone to reflect on their own situation and to do the same. This is what truly sees Biles as a prominent role model. The conversation should now be about the mental health of athletes and how to improve that response so that they can be mentally stable during and after their careers.


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