Updated: July 29, 2021 11:20:46 am
After Simone Biles withdrew from the team and individual all-around finals at the Tokyo Olympics citing mental health reasons, former Olympic Games gold-medallist Dominique Moceanu reflected on her own experience in the 1996 Olympics.
The 39-year-old retired gymnast was a part of the “Magnificent Seven”, the first USA women’s gymnastics team to win the Olympic team gold medal.
But before the final, Moceanu suffered a stress fracture in her tibia.
“I was 14 y/o w/ a tibial stress fracture, left alone w/ no cervical spine exam after this fall. I competed in the Olympic floor final minutes later. @Simone_Biles’ decision demonstrates that we have a say in our own health—“a say” I NEVER felt I had as an Olympian,” she tweeted on Wednesday.
“In our sport, we essentially dive into a pool w/ no water,” she continued. “When you lose your ability to find the ground—which appears to be part of @Simone_Biles decision—the consequences can be catastrophic. She made the right decision for the team & herself.”
In our sport, we essentially dive into a pool w/ no water. When you lose your ability to find the ground—which appears to be part of @Simone_Biles decision—-the consequences can be catastrophic. She made the right decision for the team & herself. @bisping
— Dominique Moceanu (@Dmoceanu) July 28, 2021
The six-time Olympic medallist Biles removed herself from the women’s gymnastics team final on July 27, stating that she felt like she has “the weight of the world” on her shoulders at times. She continued to cheer on her teammates from the sides, who later on bagged the silver medal behind the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).
Later, USA Gymnastics announced that Biles had also withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition to focus on her mental health.
Several athletes, like Michael Phelps and Aly Raisman, also supported Biles.
Michael Phelps on Simone Biles withdrawing from the #Olympics:
“We’re human beings. Nobody is perfect. It is ok to not be ok … It was hard for me to ask for help. I felt like I was carrying, as Simone said, the weight of the world on your shoulders.” pic.twitter.com/STRIhWqj9s
— The Recount (@therecount) July 28, 2021
The Tokyo Games end on August 8.
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