Sorry, she can't hear you over all her Olympic medals.
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s safe to say the 2020 Summer Olympics were filled with heightened pressures for even the most seasoned athletes. On Tuesday, July 27, world-class gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the Olympic Women’s Team Finals to protect her mental and physical health, and some people weren’t too happy about it. However, she’s standing by her decision, and sticking it to the haters: Simone Biles’ Instagram note about "quitter" comments is so blunt, and it’s exactly what needed to be said.
“[I] can’t believe it’s already been a month,” Biles captioned a photo of her silver and bronze medals, which she won at the end of July and beginning of August for the Women’s Team All-Around and the Balance Beam competitions, respectively. Although the Olympic games didn’t go “as planned” for her, she still wouldn’t change anything about her decision. “I’m proud of myself and the career I’ve had thus far. This Olympics doesn’t erase the past accomplishments I’ve achieved, nor does it define who I am as an athlete,” Biles wrote, noting how she’s persevered through many obstacles in her journey to this year’s Summer Olympics.
While she knows some people may define her as a “quitter” for her decision to put her mental health first after experiencing the “twisties” during practice, Biles frankly doesn’t give a d*mn. “The word ‘quitter’ is not in my vocabulary,” she wrote. “Keep talking, because I can’t hear you over my [seven] Olympic medals, which tied me for the most decorated gymnast EVER, as well as [the] most decorated American gymnast.” Honestly, all I can say is: Simone, you’re doing amazing, sweetie.
As one of the most decorated Olympic gymnasts in history, Biles is known for executing daredevil maneuvers that only she can pull off. But when she realized her mind and body weren’t in sync during a shaky performance in the competition’s first rotation, she knew it would be dangerous to continue. She wouldn’t just risk losing a few points — she’d risk sustaining a potentially life-threatening injury.
“It's honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind and body in sync,” Biles wrote in her July 29 Instagram story, explaining how she felt so disoriented in the air, she couldn’t even tell up from down. "I didn't have a bad performance and quit,” Biles continued. She admitted she’s had plenty of “bad” performances in the past, but still finished the competition. "I simply got so lost, my safety was at risk.”
Still, Team USA crushed the competition by finishing with a score of 166.096, nabbing themselves a silver medal for their performances, and Biles herself nabbed a bronze medal for her balance beam performance. No matter what the haters say, Biles has still made Olympic history as one of the most accomplished gymnasts in the world.