A former Olympian said Simone Biles “really needs to check herself” and might need some “tough love” after she withdrew from all but one Olympic event.
Henry Cejudo, who won gold in 2008 in the freestyle-wrestling event in Beijing, posted a video on Twitter last week explaining his “take” on the gymnast’s decision to bow out of the team finals and the all-around competition so she could focus on her mental health.
“I think there’s time for a little bit of tough love,” Cejudo, who is now retired from competition, said in the clip, adding “sometimes we do need a nice kick in the arse.”
“People say the media created her and you know they put upon this pressure. Not really.
“They only give you a platform. It’s up to you to believe it and to accept it. If you start to think you’re the GOAT and the greatest of all time, then that’s on you.”
Cejudo called Biles’ decision a “mistake” and said the Olympics are a “true battle of will” — if Biles is going to call herself the GOAT, or the greatest of all time, then she has to “live” out that truth.
“There’s two things that pressure can do,” the martial arts champion explained of the stress Biles faced entering the Olympics as the unofficial face of the Games following a four-medal haul in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“Pressure could either break, or it could make diamonds.
“Pressure could either bust pipes or it can create and make diamonds. You choose what to do for it, or what to do with it, remember that.”
Cejudo said Biles needs to remember “there’s a reason” she’s an Olympic champion and with Games only every four years, there’s only so many chances an athlete can get.
“There’s nothing new. It’s all in you, you’re going against you, and I hope you can come back from that.”
On Monday, USA Gymnastics announced Biles will be competing in the individual balance beam event on Tuesday after she suddenly dropped out of the team finals, opted against competing in the all-around and withdrew from the bars, vault and floor events.
She told fans she was struggling to overcome a case of the “twisties” — a condition that occurs to gymnasts when their mind isn’t in sync with their body and they can’t complete skills they’ve long been able to do.