Wednesday 28 July 2021
Pull out the strongest performance yet
Biles shows who’s the boss
Comment from David Neddy
Simone Biles has never performed this strong: the gymnast takes a leap of strength as she dips in Tokyo. Biles shows that (mental) health is of paramount importance – and that only you can decide for yourself. It only adds to your legacy.
“Win No Matter What”, win at any cost. This is the novel in the USA-oriented Success Society. Against the background of the founding myth of the United States’ “from dishwasher to millionaire”, the self-made millionaire, giving up is a weakness. But Simon Biles’ withdrawal from the gymnastics team final and from the start in the singles all-around at the Tokyo Summer Games is just the opposite: a forceful move that has not met any of her myriad golden achievements before.
In sports, and especially in the American sports world, the term “soft” is often used. According to this understanding, a softie is an athlete who “has no balls”. It’s not tough enough for the success-oriented world of sports. This insulting designation would also hit Bayles. But the most successful of all the successful people made a statement of his strength and probably made the toughest decision of her career. She recognized her limitations, and despite all the pressures and expectations that affected her, she was able to map out the consequences. So you deserve respect.
Biles’ mindset is her true greatness. Not only did she win 4 gold medals at the Olympics and 19 golds at the World Championships, she also performed jumps and runs that seemed virtually impossible. This exceptional athlete is now listening to her body and psyche at the right moment, rather than just working out and necessarily wanting to win more gold medals. Biles protects himself – a human move, a very powerful one. The only correct and necessary.
Because in competitive sports, where people are injected into shape here and there are few treatments, body and mind are means to an end. You have to work in order to succeed. If that doesn’t work, help will be provided. brake and stop? no time. Biles is now showing the global sports world that this is very possible, and what values really matter – and that even superstars don’t always have to work. Even the best are not machines, and the sports world is sometimes unhealthy – but that health, both mental and physical, is of paramount importance. It’s a great sign. Athlete proves: One step back often means one big leap forward.
With her decision, Biles also shows who is the boss. They are alone, no bond, no pressure to succeed and no media can decide on them. This fits with the world-class gymnast, who is considered to be the embodied “female empowerment”, the empowerment of women. In a society that still refuses to acknowledge the full worth of a black woman, she is strong, confident and not afraid to stand up for herself.
Historically, such fateful decisions were denied to (black) women in society and in sport. Moving forward, Biles is once again serving as a role model for girls and young women and encouraging them to stand on their own and be proud of women and/or women of color. He also points out that open communication on the topic of mental illness, which is still often considered taboo, is important and takes shame and stress away from people with such illnesses.
Simone Biles could have won six gold medals at the Tokyo Games. Will she now give up her unique opportunity to get herself into all the record books and make herself immortal? No, her legacy is much greater with her mental health awareness now showing. Because Biles is a liberated athlete who moves far more than the sports world – and now he’s breaking the founding myths of the United States. You cannot earn more.
Communicator. Reader. Hipster-friendly introvert. General zombie specialist. Tv trailblazer