Mental health experts react to Simone Biles’ withdraw from team competition

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles withdrew from the event after her first rotation on vault, before taking a big stumble on the landing.

“She’s the best gymnast in the world, but the pressure that she had was big,” said Jaime Ojeda,Director of Infinity Gymnastics Club.

Simone Biles withdrew from the U.S. Team Competition instead cheering on her team on in remaining rotations from the sidelines.

“I just thought it would be better to take a backseat to work on my mindfulness and I knew the gils would do a great job,” said Biles.

A local psychiatrist thinks she made a good decision.

“Some of us are watching these people are like, that’s pretty amazing that they did. Step back and something so high speed, but more and more people are realizing that if you don’t have your mental health then a lot of other things just aren’t really worthwhile,” said Dr. Sarah Martin from Child and Adolescent Psychiatry TTUHSC.

A local gymnastics coach said any competitor needs to be mentally ready to focus on the day on competition because the pressure of winning can actually change the performance.

“And when they go to a competition, things change. If they’re going to nervous, the routine goes not well, they can use to do 20 handstands per week. And that day, one handstand makes a big difference,” said Ojeda.

Dr. Martin said everyone athlete or not should make mental health a priority.

“Psychiatric problem is just like any medical problem with the sooner it gets treated, the easier it is to recover from and the more complete your cup recovery will be,” said Dr. Martin.

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