Should Simone Biles still be considered the GOAT?

Simone Biles seems to be under a microscope the last few days since dropping out of the team and the all around gymnastics competition at the Olympics. That young woman has been hailed as the best athlete ever, and well-deservedly. She is an incredible gymnast and competitor. She has been an awesome example of working hard towards your goals and achieving mind-boggling success. And the pint sized 4’8″ woman is only 24 years old.


However, before these Olympics ever took place, there was controversy. Unbelievably, she was deemed to be literally too good. Her ability and skill, which was unmatched as well as unprecedented, made her the heavy favorite to win just about everything by a mile. Therefore the woke powers-that-be decided that just wasn’t fair. What about the other gymnasts? They could hurt themselves trying to keep up!

Instead of just letting all the athletes compete having equal opportunity, the Gymnastics Olympic Committee had a different opinion and leaned into equity, or equal outcomes. In order to make things more fair and equitable, Biles’ routine would not be given the appropriate difficulty rating. Thus, even if she scored perfect, she wouldn’t get the points she deserved. They’re just leveling the playing field and being “fair” though, right?

Not so great start

So to start, Simone Biles had a lot on those strong shoulders of hers. And then, it didn’t help that she had a less than stellar opening round. But what happened afterward? Why in the world did she quit? It’s not as if she hasn’t faced similar scrutiny and pressure before. She’s been there, done that. And smashed the competition. That’s sort of why she’s known as the GOAT. Why now?

Life is always complicated

Just like all things going on recently, it’s complicated. And LORD knows we don’t know the entire situation, so it’s extremely easy for us to sit here and be the armchair quarterback for Simone Biles’ life decisions. By her own admission, Biles said she wasn’t quite mentally prepared, and she needed “to focus on my mental health.” It’s not clear exactly what that means, but unfortunately mental health has been frequently used as of late as an excuse for all kinds of questionable decisions.

To be clear, mental health is very real and very serious. This is not in dispute. However, the definition of what is covered by mental health has been stretched well beyond its original meaning. As well as the fact that the number of times mental health is given as the root of all our problems has skyrocketed, and it’s hard to tell whether it’s really that or something else. Is that what is happening in this case? I clearly would have no idea, and few would.

Giving the benefit of the doubt

Personally, I want to give this woman the benefit of the doubt. We don’t know the entirety of the situation but we do know that although these are the Olympics, no one should be forced or expected to perform until their breaking-point. Nevertheless, her decision was obviously disappointing for her team and for the country. Thankfully, the other athletes did awesome and were able to pull a silver for the United States, which is fantastic!

But I can’t help but think, what if she pushed through anyway? Would any of us have known the demons she was battling? Would she have performed subpar, and marred her incredible career with a bust for her last Olympic games?

Who knows. At this point, it doesn’t matter. Maybe the world needed to see that the little gymnast giant known as Simone Biles is human after all. Or maybe it makes others who have sacrificed it all for their teammates and for their country shine even brighter. This isn’t meant as a dig against Biles, but rather it puts into perspective the sacrifices others have made for a cause bigger than themselves.

What makes us successful?

After dropping out of the competition, Biles was quoted as saying, “I feel like I’m also not having as much fun — and this Olympic Games I wanted it to be for myself and it felt like I was still doing for other people…” Makes you wonder if that’s what made her so successful in the past. When the focus was off of herself and instead, her focus was on performing her best for her family, teammates, and country.

Others have sacrificed their time, talents, and yes, even body, for the sake of others. That doesn’t make them necessarily better than those in the self-care camp, but it sure makes them people to look up to. Why? Because again, I’m not undermining the importance of self-care. However, when you see a person sacrifice themselves for the sake of another, you see greatness that is minimally both admirable and praise-worthy.

Biles deserves grace

Taking everything into consideration, Biles says she needed to have a break, and I for one believe her. This won’t take away from her talent as an athlete nor her legendary skills. I just hope that this will not be a moment that she will look upon with regret one day. Instead of remembering Biles as an incredible athlete, she will be remembered as someone who prioritized her mental health and chose to take care of herself.

Where are the self-sacrificers?

The thing is, the world has many people who are all about self-care. You know what we don’t have many of? Self-sacrificers. The spirit of the age tells us our feelings rule, follow your heart, and fulfill your dreams. The Spirt of God calls us to allow the LORD to rule, follow Him, and die to yourself. What that looks like is different for us all, and again, I am not trying to be Simone Bile’s stand-in God, judging her motivations, thoughts, and feelings. Only she and the LORD knows if what she did was the right thing to do.

So what’s my point? My point is, as Samuel Sey recently posted, let’s be kind to Simone Biles. We should all give her the benefit of the doubt, especially because we just don’t know. And yes, she’s still the GOAT. But we shouldn’t praise her or hold her up as an example for us to follow because she chose “self-care.” As the Daily Wire (link above) puts it: “..we should always applaud those who choose to fight, who choose to try, even if they fail.”

So let’s have grace and give people the benefit of the doubt. But let’s hold up as examples for us to follow those who choose to self-sacrificially fight with all they’ve got. Those people are much harder to find, but they’re the ones who are worth their weight in gold.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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