Why did Simone Biles withdraw at the Olympics? After two failed attempts at a very difficult move on the uneven bars, she determined she wasn't ready. It took courage to make a decision to be safe rather than take a risk and possibly get injured. I can't even imagine the stress she must have been under as she contemplated giving up on her dream. The work it must have taken, the commitment, the years of dedication to develop herself mentally, physical, and emotionally all came crashing down when she couldn't get her mind in the game. It's understandable and I commend her for stepping out of harms way so that she can perform another day.
When it comes to protecting yourself, some people would rather you take the chance so they can be entertained. This is a terrible way to treat someone and we do it every single day. Entertainment at the expense of others has become the norm. We laugh at other people's pain and hate them when they won't be our puppets. We shame their legacy, their lives, and destroy their livelihoods all in the name of some self-righteous, self-imposed power we believe we have over someone else.
I loved watching the Olympics growing up. I wanted to be an Olympian one day, but alas, reality strikes hard when you realize you are not gifted, financially supported, or even encouraged to try. My gifting is better served watching the Olympics from the side-lines and cheering for those who show character, strength, conviction, and who are good team players. I love to see one Olympian embrace another for their efforts, or when one puts their arm around another competitor when they have been defeated. There used to be a common term in competition: Sportsmanship. It's what is revealed after the race is won. It's where character is revealed through the willingness of someone to share the stage with someone else.
Simone Biles took a step back and others stepped forward in her place. They would have had to do this if she had attempted to compete and was injured. I feel sad that Simone stepped out, but I'm happy she'll be able to compete again. She deserves a gold medal for courage.