Simone Biles Showed What It’s Like to Be a Caring Human Being

by on August 2, 2021 · 3 comments

in From the Soul, Sports

by Ernie McCray

Some are saying that
Simone Biles is
a “national embarrassment”
who “quit on her team,”
when the truth is
she’s a
superbly talented gymnast
who, for years,
has mesmerized
the world
with dazzling routines
an array
of twists and turns and flips
that seem to defy
the laws of physics,

finding herself in the Olympics

facing the effects

of what the world now knows

as the “twisties,”

a common kind of mental block

in her sport

where one loses their ability

to know where they are

in the air

when everything

they do

calls for them to,

in part,

fly upside down

through the air,

so now she’s

suddenly in despair,

dealing, surely,

with the enormous pressure

that’s put on

athletes of her stature,

and with the macho-ized

overly idealized

“When the going gets tough

the tough get going”

frame of mind

upon which competitors rely

which would surely,

in her mental state of mind,


her team winning a prize.

But she acted

both brave

and wise

and looked the people

she’s trained with

in the eyes

with trust in her eyes

and told them

as their leader

in this enterprise

“It’s up to you guys”

and coached them

and rooted for them

in a voice heard

throughout the gym

and she

and them

showed the world

the love

they have for each other

and the kind

of esprit de corps

it takes to compete

and win,

eventually securing a silver medal

that honored all the good work

they had put in.

So rather than being

seen as a national embarrassment

who quit on her team,

Simone Biles should be viewed

as having inspired them

to stay focused

on their Olympic dreams.

In doing so

she showed

what it’s like

to be a caring human being.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Don Wood August 2, 2021 at 3:20 pm

No one on earth his done more to ensure that this Olympic gymnastics team is a huge success than Ms. Biles. She chose not to jeapordize the teams chances of losing medals if she were unable to perform up to her usual standards. By temporarily standing down, Biles gave the junior team members she mentored their golden opportunity to show that they could do on their own. Think of the names of all the new US Olympic gold medal winners we now know. Then think about how many we would have become aware of had Biles put the teams chances at risk by insisting on participating in the events and failed. The headlines would have focused on her losses, instead of the team and its individual members performances and wins. Every member of the US Olympic Team and all its supporters owe Simone Biles a giant vote of thanks. She is a true winner in all respects.


Candice Carter August 2, 2021 at 6:18 pm

What a role model Simone is! She shows us what we need to do when our perception gets twisted. I am not a sport scholar, but I plan to use her demonstration as an example of group success with collective success as a Peacebuilding process.
Thank you Ernie for poetically stimulating this opportunity for commentary.


Thomas Gayton August 3, 2021 at 2:42 pm



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