Simone Biles and others question the spiritual loss of elite competition

Simone Biles was flying through the air and jumped off when she landed on the mat. Her facial expressions indicate that she is not satisfied with the vault. The judges’ scores show that they are not either-they gave the American gymnastics star the lowest score in the competition.

Byers later told reporters that she didn’t even realize that she had completed this action. She said it was a signal to her that she was not in the right headspace.

After the botched vault, Byers left the arena Tokyo With members of American trainers. When she came back, she was wearing sportswear. The Olympic champion withdrew from the gymnastics finals on Tuesday morning, citing mental health.

“It’s very unfortunate that this must happen at this stage… when you fight with your own head, it’s bad,” Byers said.

As the favorite to win the championship, the US women’s team ranked second with 166.096 points, behind the Russian Olympic Committee’s 169.528 points. This is the first time since 2008 that the United States has not won a gold medal in this event.

After Byers withdrew, the other three women on the team—Grace McCallum, Jordan Chilis, and Sunee Lee—come to compete and fill her vacancies.Chilis replaced Byers on the uneven bars and crossbar, while Lee came off the bench

The Chilean team, which fell from the crossbar in Saturday’s qualifying round, scored 13.433 while making up the spot, helping the U.S. team narrow the lead of the Republic of China. The Americans were 0.8 points behind in the game, but after Chile fell in the game, they could not catch up with the ROC.

Although she did not participate in the game, Byers still cheered for her teammates on the sidelines.

With the focus of Olympic gymnastics now turning to individual competitions, it is not clear what role Byers intends to play in the future later on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, she qualified for all five individual finals, but she told reporters that she was not sure whether to participate in all or any of the remaining events. Three games will be scheduled in the next few days, including the women’s all-around final on Thursday, while the vault and uneven bars finals will be held on Sunday.

Byers called the Olympics “really stressful” and said that this was the first time she felt her pressure in the game on Tuesday. She added that she did not want to doubt herself and risk injury in other events of the competition.

On Sunday, Byers posted on Instagram: “I do feel that sometimes I carry the burden of the whole world on my shoulders.” “I know I’m dismissive and let pressure seem to have no effect on me, but damn it’s sometimes difficult. .”

Byers is the latest elite sports figure to speak publicly about mental loss at the highest level of competition.

“We must also pay attention to ourselves, because in the final analysis, we are also human,” Byers said. “We must protect our minds and bodies, not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.”

The world’s second-ranked tennis star Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open this year and did not return to the stadium for the same reason until the Olympics.

Osaka lost to Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in the third round on Tuesday, losing three sets. Osaka is the highest paid female athlete in the world. She is the spokesperson of the Japanese Olympic Games and lit the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony.

“I do feel under a lot of pressure for this,” Osaka said after the game. “I think this may be because I have not participated in the Olympic Games before and in the first year. [it] A little too much. “

American swimmer Simone Manuel, who won two gold and one bronze medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, said she struggled with overtraining syndrome in March, which forced her to take a three-week vacation .

“This is definitely my biggest battle,” Manuel said at a press conference in June. “It started a bit in January. I think I didn’t notice this until my body seemed to collapse completely.”

Dan Gould, director of the Institute of Youth Sports at Michigan State University, said it is difficult for sports stars to cope with pressure-the growing influence of social media magnifies the damage to modern athletes.

“Some of our recent studies have shown that this generation of young people, Generation Z, is less able to withstand stress,” Gould told the Washington Times. “Many people think that because their parents sometimes protect them, they don’t have to deal with and solve problems.”

Gould has been focusing on the study of disaster theory (a physiological theory that attempts to explain the connection between stress and athletic performance). He said that when athletes are full of confidence, their mind and body can withstand more stress. To a limit. When an athlete is overstimulated, it can have a negative impact on performance.

“We know that when they are very worried, sometimes they get over-excited and then they fall off. [have] Muscle tension increases and attention changes, which may affect their performance,” Gould said.

Mental health disorders are not always limited to athletic performance. Stress will spread to the personal lives of athletes.

Baltimore native Michael Phelps, a 23-time gold medalist in swimming, struggled with ADHD and depression during the competition-in 2018, he said he had been after the 2012 London Olympics Considered suicide.

“Sometimes you will see, like in the case of Phelps, their performance is not affected, but what is affected is outside the sport,” Gould said.

Former NBA first-round pick Kevin Love wrote about his mental health in an article published in the Players Tribune in 2020. In this article, he detailed the struggle he experienced and shared a message for people facing similar problems.

“If you are struggling now, I can’t tell you that it will be easy. But I can tell you that it has indeed become better,” Love wrote.
According to a report issued by the International Olympic Committee in 2019, scientific research found that approximately 35% of elite athletes will encounter some form of mental health disorder during their careers.

The U.S. Olympic team conducted a mental health check on all its athletes before departure Tokyo, According to the Associated Press.

According to the Associated Press, Dr. Jessica Bartley, Director of Mental Health Services for the U.S. Olympic Committee and Paralympic Games, said: “For every athlete participating in the Olympics, we start a mental health screening.” “So we get. Baseline mental health information for all athletes, every sport in progress.”

According to the Associated Press, the United States also has a telephone hotline that provides mental health support for its athletes, receiving approximately 8 calls every week.

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