Simone Biles has been offered an apology by Li Li Leung, the CEO and President of USA Gymnastics, for the anonymous team insider who referred to her as a “gold medal token” during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The remark that was made about two years ago had a significant impact on Biles’ mental health, which is what prompted her to take a vacation from competing.
Simone Biles made a successful return to the world of professional gymnastics on August 5, 2023, at the 2023 US Classic. Her absence from the sport had been lengthy. At the competition, the gymnast won a remarkable three gold medals in addition to one bronze medal. During the celebration of her victory, when Biles talked with the media, she disclosed an incident that had a negative impact on her mental health right around the time of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
In the middle of the intense pressure she was under to perform well in Tokyo, Biles disclosed that a member of the United States gymnastics team told her that she was the team’s “gold medal token.” Biles felt additional pressure as a result of the comment, which led to her feeling overwhelmed. In addition to that, it played a part in causing her to have twisties at the very moment that she was performing.
The circumstances that Biles found herself in raise serious concerns about the culture that the United States of America Gymnastics Team provides for its members. When asked about it in an interview with USA Today, USA Gymnastics CEO and President Li Li Leung admitted that it was really disheartening to learn of the seven-time Olympian’s experience with the unnamed organization member.
Leung responded that they were not familiar with the individual who had made such comments to the gymnast and that they were uncertain as to whether or not he or she was still employed by them.
On the other hand, Leung made it clear that USA Gymnastics does not put up with any disrespect directed toward its athletes. Lastly, she stated that she had expressed her regrets to Simone Biles over the distress that she had caused.
She expressed her regret to Simone by telling USA Today, “I apologize that she had to go through that kind of treatment while she was on-site in Tokyo.” “I have an appreciation for how challenging it must have been for her.”
Simone Biles and the other members of the United States gymnastics team all took part in an interview on a panel together after the gymnastics competition at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021. She emphasized how important it is for athletes to take care of their mental and physical health in order for them to perform to the best of their abilities during competition. According to what was alleged, a gymnast stated:
“At the end of the day, we’re not just here to provide entertainment; we’re human beings, and there are things happening behind the scenes that, in addition to sports, we’re also trying to juggle,” said one athlete.
Biles is of the opinion that there ought to be a greater emphasis placed on the topic of athletes’ mental health being regularly discussed, and she thinks that this talk ought to take place more frequently. She went on to explain that individuals are frequently encouraged to push past their mental limitations, but she emphasized that merely talking about it would be a better solution to the problem. She went on to explain that people are often pushed to go past their physical barriers. She went on to explain that people are usually encouraged to push themselves beyond the limits that they have set for themselves mentally.