Tokyo Olympics was held from last July 23rd to August 8th. The Olympics is the world’s largest comprehensive sports festival. Plus, the Winter and Summer Olympics have been held every four years since 1896 under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee. Especially, the Summer Olympics is the biggest event on the Earth. Athletes from various sports events in the Olympics aim to participate only in the Olympics and win medals for 4 years. Especially, Tokyo 2020 Olympic was postponed because of COVID-19, athletics who had prepared for Tokyo Olympics practiced and tried for 5 years.
Like Michael Jordan when it comes to basketball and Tiger Woods when it comes to golf, some of players who have reached the highest level in any field of time are referred to as “G.O.A.T (Greatest of All-Time).” Simone Biles, a female mechanical gymnast whose expression follows so naturally, abstained from Tokyo Olympic Games. Simone Biles became an issue because of this. She is G.O.A.T in gymnastic history. Because she can digest high-level technologies that no one can do. In gymnastics, if a gymnast succeeds in the first technique he or she shows, we call the technique the player’s name. Usually, it is said to be a great athlete with just one technique.
Simone Biles, however, has four techniques named after her on the cutting board, average stand, and floor. Three of them are so difficult that no one can copy them yet. She also holds the record of ‘the most medals gymnast at the world championships,’ and won four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Because she is the best gymnast, all expected that she’ll get a gold medal in Tokyo Olympics. However, she announced suddenly that she’ll abstain from the rest plays after finishing her first play because of a big psychologic burden. Simone Biles expressed her feelings and said “It wasn’t an easy day or my best, but I got through it. I truly do feel like I weigh the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but sometimes it’s hard.”
In the past, there would have been criticism that athletes were mentally weak, but there were many people who supported the players’ decision of giving up the recent. Sally Robinson, an Australian rowing player, gave up the final match in the 2004 Athens Olympics complaining of anxiety but was ridiculed as a ‘loser’ by the media and fellow players.
However, Simone Biles was cheered up by not only colleagues from the same country but also them from other countries. One of the other countries’ players said “We can abstain from this major competition only when we have courage. Thanks for saying that you aren’t okay.” Also, Michelle Obama, a wife of Barack Obama who was a president of the United States, cheered up for Simone Biles and said “Am I okay? This is a magic formula that I tell myself every morning.”
I think the increase in the number of players, like Simon Biles who openly talk about a mental health issue, has changed people’s perception lately. No matter how great a player may be, he or she is the same person after all, and the players seem to have reminded us that mental health problems are not something to hide or be ashamed of. Also, I think the words that tell people to never give up, for example, “Those who want to wear the crown, bear the weight,” are outdated. Giving up is something that needs courage. I mean that it’s no longer those who gives up what he or she has mental pain is not the loser. Getting the results you want while overdoing it is also something that deserves applause. However, after knowing their situation first and thinking about they can do enough, deciding to give up is a great way. We can never blame them. I’d like that seeing an episode of Simon Biles, everyone suffering mentally realizes that they are never weak and that finding out how to give up sometimes when they’re too exhausted, can make themselves stronger.