— Sports

Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles cops vile abuse, labelled ‘weak’ after withdrawal

Gymnast Simone Biles’ critics have called her “weak”, a “quitter,” and far worse. But her life is a story of strength in the face of trauma. Less than 24 hours before competing in the 2018 world championships in Doha, Simone Biles visited the emergency room to investigate pains in her stomach. The doctors found a kidney stone. Biles decided not to have it removed. She left the hospital in the small hours of the morning, still in agony yet determined to compete. “The kidney stone can wait,” she said. Gymnastics’ doping rules barred her from taking proper pain medication.

“The pain was coming in waves. I was walking around, and then I’d crawl on the floor because it hurt so bad,” she later revealed. No matter. Those world championships proceeded towards the same inevitable conclusion as every other major competition Biles had contested since 2013: she landed moves her peers weren’t even capable of attempting, won four gold medals, and led the American team to the most significant margin of victory ever recorded under the sport’s modern scoring system.

Simone Biles

That same year, Biles won the US national championship with broken toes on both feet. This is the woman critics are now branding “weak” and “a quitter” after her withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics. “I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and wellbeing,” Biles said after the United States won silver without her on Tuesday. “It just sucks when you’re fighting with your head.” The elegance of gymnastics can obscure just how punishing it is. Elite gymnasts like Biles wear down their bodies to pursue perfection, often causing self-inflicted, lifelong health problems.

“Pain is just something I live with. And that is pretty odd for my age; It feels weird if I’m not in pain,” Biles once said. She was 22 at the time. “I’ve been quite fortunate with injuries, but there’s been some stuff. There’s been a calf I have partially torn two or three times. I broke a rib in 2016. And oh yeah, it turned out my toe was shattered in five pieces after the last Olympics without me knowing. “That was weird. I had it for ages and used to tell people it would fall off. One day, I had it X-rayed, and they were asked how long it had been bad. I’d had it for about two years. “If you are jumping up in the air constantly, sometimes gravity says no.” Biles has been defying gravity and her body since the age of six.

She is indisputably the greatest gymnast of all time, with 27 gold medals in her cabinet, five world championship titles, and four moves named after her. It’s been eight years since she lost an all-around competition. Federer has Nadal and Djokovic. James has Jordan. Woods has Nicklaus. Williams has Court. Biles has no equal, no rival, and no cloud of doubt over her status in history. In a sport where the slightest mistake can cause a catastrophic injury, no one else has ever performed routines as dangerous as hers, with so many death-defying twists and somersaults stuffed into every millisecond. You can’t reach that level of skill on raw talent alone. It costs something.

“Oh, this body. It starts when I wake up. I can tell you almost straight away if it is cold or not because my bones will shake,” said Biles. “I often joke to my friends that I will be in a wheelchair at 30. My body feels like it is maybe in its thirties or forties. Maybe older. Inside, it is screaming and yelling at me.” Imagine doing that to your body, persevering through the pain and executing impossible moves to perfection, repeatedly And always with the world watching expectantly.

Gemma Broadhurst
I am a writer by profession, and I love to write in my spare time. I am one of the most experienced writer for newspriest. I always make sure that whatever is written on my blog is 100% genuine and true. I am a University of Florida graduate pursuing a Master's degree.

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