Simone Biles says she’s under pressure to over-achieve as a Black athlete

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Simone Biles has described how she feels under extreme pressure to achieve because “as a black woman, we just have to grow up”.

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“Even when we break records and stuff, they almost dim it like it’s normal,” the gymnastics star said in an interview. deduction , noting that black female athletes were under a lot of pressure and had to break many barriers.

Referring to his journey so far and his Olympic campaign earlier this year, Biles said: “If you looked at everything I’ve done in the last seven years, I should never have made another Olympic team. “


“I should have left Tokyo earlier, when Larry Nassar was in the media for two years,” the 24-year-old told the magazine. “It was just too much.”

She continued: “But I wasn’t going to let him take something I’ve worked for since I was 6 years old. I wasn’t going to let him take that happiness away from me. So I carried on until my The mind and my body will let me go.”

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Biles pulled out of several events during the Tokyo Olympics in July, citing “twists”, a phenomenon experienced by some gymnasts where the brain mentally prevents them from performing dangerous stunts.

Although many supported her decision, including USA Gymnastics, she also faced a wave of criticism.

Biles withdrew due to mental health concerns, saying: “I have to focus on my mental health. I think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now. We have to protect our mind and our body, not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.”

Soon after withdrawing from Olympic competition, Biles said: “We’re not just athletes, we’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back.”

She has spoken about her mental health struggles on several occasions, such as the emotional toll caused by the sexual abuse of former Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar, one of the girls.

In 2017, the former US gymnastics doctor was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing 10 of more than 265 women and girls.

Biles has said that her persistence to compete publicly comes from a desire to create a safe environment for her peers.

Biles also said at the time of the Olympics that she didn’t believe in herself “that much anymore”.

He had added: “Maybe it’s getting old. There were some days when everyone tweets at you and you feel the weight of the world.

Biles isn’t the first black female athlete to speak out about facing pressure compared to her white counterparts. Marirose Roach, an attorney and former scholarship track and soccer athlete at Temple University – who now plays semi-professional football in the Women’s Football Coalition – said in June 2018 that black women “because you’re in a hostile environment. Even That sometimes even from your side.” She said there was “constant pressure not to act”.

Alison Felix told earlier this year He Magazine: “I have to focus on what I need and take space when I need it, and understand that I’m going through a lot.”

In July of this year, sociologist Harry Edwards—who first wrote about black athletes 50 years ago in his book Black Athlete’s Rebellion and is Professor Emeritus at UC Berkeley – said during a podcast Topic all things Considered That “there was a lot of weight on the shoulders of people who are, in many instances, just barely young adults, while at the same time focused on their main goal, which is an athletic achievement. It’s a lot of pressure.”

She added: “Because of that triple burden of gender, race and being an athlete, women were never accepted as total and complete athletes, even the greatest of them.”

biles, in deduction interview, said: “Sometimes it can feel overwhelming.”

Credit: / Simone Biles

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