Image courtesy of: @SimoneBiles via Instagram
After experiencing the twisties, a sudden disconnect between mind and body, six-time career Olympic medalist Simone Biles decided to withdraw from several gymnastic Olympic competitions. The prioritization of her health and well-being boldly came first and even furthered the conversation on just how much pressure a young Olympian faces. The notion that athletes are superheroes and not human was quickly shut down, as the importance of an athlete's mental health took precedence over any and everything else.
However, in the last event that she should participate in, the balance beam, Biles came back to capture bronze and also tie Shannon Miller for the most career Olympic medals in team USA history (7). Shocking the world and all who watched her from sidelines for the majority of the Olympic competition, Biles once again overcame the impossible. A true survivor, Olympian, and leader in the sport of gymnastics, Biles simply has nothing else to prove to anyone else, ever.
Her grace, fight, and fortitude truly won over the hearts of millions. However, it was the resilience that she possessed and continues to posses is what leaves so many in awe.
It was not long ago that Biles was a fighting voice for so many young women and girls who endured decades of horrific abuse under former USA gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. Becoming a top face in this movement, but also the only survivor to continue to compete on this USA gymnastics team, it was the fight that gave so many young women hope.
"It is okay not to be strong, it is okay not have it all together", are some of the words that we as Black women should be comforted with. Nonetheless, we triumph through obstacles and display a heightened level of resiliency that one can only possess. Simone is and continues to be a role model for young girls. Her aspirations to change the face of gymnastics and implement something even greater gives us the hope that we are all looking for.
Furthermore, with the obstacles that Black women face, it is our resiliency and fight in the end that will always carry us over. And Simone Biles is no stranger to this game.