TW: this article mentions of sexual abuse, in particular the abuses carried out by Larry Nassar against gymnasts.
Simone Biles deserves a gold medal in courage.
When she stepped away from the Olympics all-around event and decided not to compete, that took a huge amount of guts. But it’s no surprise she’s become a pro at being brave in the face of overwhelming stress. She’s had to, given her past. As the last gymnast abused by Larry Nassar (the prior doctor for the United States women’s national gymnastics) team still performing, she has been forced to deal with her ongoing personal trauma in front of the media.
When the word came that “medical issues” were the reasons for her withdrawal, most people assumed them to be physical—an injury to her body, perhaps. That it takes society a beat or two to realize that mental health concerns are equally important, and also a potential medical issue, says something about how far we still have to go when it comes to awareness and compassion.