On Tuesday, July 27th, 2021, Simone Biles, a Catholic gymnast, captain of the USA Olympic Women’s Gymnastics team and the most celebrated American gymnast of all time, withdrew from the team competition after competing on both the vault and floor. Simone Biles also removed herself from the individual all-round competition. She explained the need to give attention to her mental wellbeing which can affect complex maneuvers in this dangerous sport. (See more below) Simone Biles shows interior strength and shines like a light above all sorts of difficulties that she has had in life.
Simone Biles was born in Ohio, her mother was battling drug and alcohol abuse and therefore, at age three, Simone was taken away from her mother. Her grandparents in Texas adopted Biles and her younger sister. During her gymnastic career, she also suffered abuse from Lawrence Nassar, who for eighteen years was the team doctor for the US women's national gymnastics team. He sexually abused hundreds of girls and young women.
Despite these traumas Simone Biles continues to shine. Her team won the silver medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
When she was younger she explained that she would often pray the rosary given to her by mom.
The Catechism explains:
"Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good. If morality requires respect for the life of the body, it does not make it an absolute value. It rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for its sake, to idolize physical perfection and success at sports." (CCC 2288-89)
Biles says she is still struggling with the 'twisties.' She said, "I don't think you realise how dangerous this is on a competition/hard surface."
She went on to explain, that she "Literally cannot tell up from down... I also have NO idea where I am going to land. Or what I am going to land on. Head/hands/feet/back." Biles disclosed that the sensation began the morning after qualification, and to prevent further injury, she has to go back to the basics.
BBC Explains: What are the 'twisties' in gymnastics? Gymnasts have described the twisties as a kind of mental block. In some sports a sudden mental block - like the 'yips' in golf - may cost you a missed putt, or a lost game. In gymnastics, it can cause a person to lose their sense of space and dimension as they are in the air, causing them to lose control of their body and do extra twists or flips that they hadn't intended. In the worst cases, they can find themselves suddenly unable to land safely. The twisties can happen to a gymnast even if they've done the same manoeuvre for years without problems. (BBC Excerpt)
Simone Biles won the all-around gold medal during the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships.
Biles calls her grandparents “mom and dad.” At the age of 6, Biles started gymnastics.
She is also the first woman to “land a double twisting double somersault off the balance beam.”
On her Instagram, Simone wrote, "it wasn’t an easy day or my best but I got through it. I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The olympics is no joke! BUT I’m happy my family was able to be with me virtually🤍 they mean the world to me!
Then she posted, "the outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before."
Simone Arianne Biles was born on March 14, 1997 and is an American artistic gymnast. Biles has combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals. Biles is also a five-time World all-around champion (2013–2015, 2018–2019), five-time World floor exercise champion (2013–2015, 2018–2019), three-time World balance beam champion (2014–2015, 2019), two-time World vault champion (2018–2019), a seven-time United States national all-around champion (2013–2016, 2018–2019, 2021), and a member of the gold medal-winning American teams at the 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Additionally, she is a three-time World silver medalist (2013 and 2014 on vault, 2018 on uneven bars) and a three-time World bronze medalist (2015 on vault, 2013 and 2018 on balance beam). Biles is the first African-American to be world all-around champion and the first woman to win three consecutive world all-around titles. Biles also holds the record for most gold medals won by a female gymnast in the history.
Biles explained, “My mom, Nellie, got me a rosary at church. I don’t use it to pray before a competition. I’ll just pray normally to myself, but I have it there in case.” Her mother told the Washington Post, “she always had loved bouncing on furniture in the house, so much so that her mother, Nellie, had grown weary of harping that the sofa and chairs weren’t a playground.” She trains at least 32 hours a week and is only 4'8. She is homeschooled to give her more time for training.
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