By Matt Walsh, Daily Wire
From the way that Olympic gymnast Simone Biles is being praised this week, you might think that the decorated superstar put on a heroic display during the team competition in Tokyo and led her squad to a gold medal.
Prominent politicians like Ayanna Pressley and Cori Bush have made public statements applauding her. The White House Press Secretary expressed “gratitude and support.” Deadspin gushed over “the most impressive move of her career.” Former Olympians joined in the group hug. Articles have been written extolling her bravery and declaring that her achievements this week have sent a “powerful message” to the world. CNN called her performance “impactful.” She has been hailed for her strength and for “setting an amazing example” and being a great athlete and role model. Women’s advocacy groups have thanked her.
It was all perhaps the most effusive praise that has ever been heaped on a quitter.
That is what Simone Biles did to earn this exuberant applause. She gave up. After struggling in the qualifying rounds, and botching her first event in the women’s team finals, Biles decided to withdraw from the meet. The best gymnast on the squad, one of the most celebrated U.S. Olympic athletes of all time, chose to abandon her team in the middle of the finals. Her teammates would finish second behind Russia, while Biles went on to receive even more acclaim than a gold medal would have earned her.
There was some talk early on suggesting that Biles had been physically injured. But that was not the case. Biles has since explained that she left the competition in order to focus on her “mental health” and her “mindfulness.” She complained that the Olympics haven’t been “fun” this year. “This Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself when I came in — and I felt like I was still doing it for other people,” she said. Returning to this theme later, she said that it’s important to “put mental health first” because if you don’t then “you’re not going to enjoy your sport.” She complained about the “pressure” that she’s under.
America is a Great Country in which to live.