Simone Biles doesn’t owe anyone anything. She needs to take care of herself first. And her track record says a lot more than anyone saying she quit.
In case a reminder was needed, Biles hasn’t lost a major competition since her debut in 2013, winning four Olympic golds and 19 World Championship medals along the way. This is why it was so jarring to see her withdraw from the team competition in Tokyo.
Biles seems like a superhero at times so to see her say she didn’t know where she was in the air lets you know that she knows she isn’t at the peak of her powers. So when she said she thought she was risking a medal for her team and that she needed to focus on her mental health, that needs to be taken seriously.
At the same time, the reaction she is sure to receive from her decision is part of the pressure of being the biggest star of the Olympics, something she already admitted has gotten to her at times.
And bowing out mid-competition isn’t exactly in line with what sports fans typically expect from one of the greats. Which makes this whole story a little more complex than just a simple take.
But ultimately, the thing that matters most isn’t whether Biles can return to win another gold, it’s that she’s ok. Because no matter what happens at these Olympics or how people feel about her pulling out of an event...she’s still the GOAT anyway.