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The power of protecting your peace_

August 2021

Instead of making headlines for yet another gold medal at the Olympics, this year, Simone Biles is making headlines for saying "no." In order to protect her mental and physical health, Biles decided to withdraw from the team gymnastics competition in Tokyo.

Biles is the most decorated gymnast of all time. She knows the mental toughness that it takes to be successful in her sport, but also where to draw the line. To some, Biles' choice to withdraw from competing was unthinkable. To others, Biles' braveness exemplifies that no matter who you are or what you do, we must take care of ourselves first. 

New York Times covered Biles story and talks about the immense pressure she is faced with every day. She is "an athlete who pressed toward Tokyo instead of retiring, in part because it would force gymnastics officials to keep reckoning with what she and so many other American gymnasts had survived. An athlete willing to speak with force about racism, a topic she knows well as a Black woman dominating a predominantly white sport. So, yeah, she carries a heavy burden, one that falls hard on her and on other Black women athletes." 

Biles has never been a predictable athlete, she's always exemplified what it means to be authentic and true to oneself. Most importantly, she's shown us the power of protecting your peace.