Especially the part about how she blamed social media…..something NO ONE forces her to use. But led to her demise.
Good! That’ll teach these little entitled fucks.
She designed it herself to inspire other athletes all over the world – and sells them through GK Elite Sportswear for up to $390 a piece.
Biles proudly wore several leotards from her own collection at last month’s US Gymnastics Championships; one white and lilac, the other black.
But they had an extra detail not available to the public – a rhinestone symbol of a goat, on the shoulder of her white leotard and the hip of the black one.
Biles didn’t choose a goat to personify her brand because they’re her favourite animal.
She chose it because in sporting terms, it stands for G.O.A.T. or Greatest Of All Time.
‘I want kids to learn that, yes, it’s okay to acknowledge that you’re good or even great at something,’ Biles explained, when asked about it.
And I have no problem with that.
I like my sporting champions to be cocky little devils, especially when they’ve got the ability and medals to back up the rhetoric.
And they don’t get much cockier than Ms Biles.
When I interviewed her on Good Morning Britain two years ago, she radiated so much self-confidence I thought she might self-combust on set.
‘You’re the most unbeatable athlete in the history of athletics, right?’ I said.
‘Yeah,’ she agreed, without a moment’s pause.
‘What’s it like to be invincible?’
‘I feel like there are people out there that could potentially beat me,’ she replied, ‘but even on my worst days, like that day (in the 2018 World Championships) when I fell twice, with huge (points) deductions, and I didn’t think I was going to win, and I went on Floor thinking ‘Oh God, what’s going to happen now?’ and then I still won.’
‘You’ve got to crave winning and hate losing,’ I suggested, ‘otherwise what’s the point in competing in anything? ‘
‘I also love how self-critical you are even when you win,’ I added.
‘Yes, I feel like nowadays it happens a lot,’ she grinned, ‘because I typically win every competition that I’m entering… so I feel like there’s always something I’m upset about or that didn’t go right, and I’m always striving to be perfect.’
‘Who’s going to beat you at the 2020 Olympics, Simone?’ I asked.
‘No-one,’ interrupted British gymnast Max Whitlock, sitting next to her, and they both fell about laughing.
But it turned out there was someone – herself.
Simone Biles was due to take part in all four parts of the women’s team final gymnastics competition.
She was the leader of the team, and indeed the unofficial leader of Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics as the squad’s most successful Olympian.
As such, she was expected to lead by example.
However, in her first exercise, the Vault, she made a big mistake.
She was supposed to do an ‘Amanar’ vault, which begins with a roundoff back handspring onto the table followed by two 1/2 twists in mid-air, but she only did one 1/2 twist instead.
Biles looked annoyed with herself, just as she did when she fell at the World Championships.
But rather than dust herself down and battle on for Gold, as she did in 2018, she did something which absolutely staggered me.
Biles said she wasn’t carrying an injury. ‘Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape,’ she said. ‘Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment. Coming to the Olympics and being head star isn’t an easy feat.’ Head star… hmmm, there’s that GOAT ego rearing its head again. But if you’re going to call yourself the Greatest of All Time and ‘head star’ then you’re putting a lot of that pressure on yourself, aren’t you?
The world’s greatest ever gymnast, a woman who proudly told me how she fought back after making big mistakes to win Gold, just gave up at the first hurdle of these Olympics.
She left her team to fight on without their leader and supreme motivational champion, and rather than win the Gold medal they were hot favourites to win, they came second to the Russians.
Biles said she wasn’t carrying an injury.
‘Physically, I feel good, I’m in shape,’ she said. ‘Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time and moment. Coming to the Olympics and being head star isn’t an easy feat.’
Head star… hmmm, there’s that GOAT ego rearing its head again.
But if you’re going to call yourself the Greatest of All Time and ‘head star’ then you’re putting a lot of that pressure on yourself, aren’t you?
Then Biles said something really extraordinary and illuminating: ‘I feel like I’m also not having as much fun. This Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself, but I came in and I felt like I was still doing it for other people. It hurts my heart that doing what I love has been kind of taken away from me to please other people.’
You’re not just at these Games for yourself, Simone.
You are part of Team USA, representing the United States of America, and hundreds of millions of American people watching back home, not to mention all the sponsors who’ve paid huge sums to support you.
And when you quit, you were performing as part of a gymnastics team, not yourself.
It’s also not supposed to just be about having fun.
The Olympics are the pinnacle of sport – the ultimate test of any athlete. They’re supposed to be very hard and very tough, physically, mentally, and any other way you care to name.
Biles blamed social media for her new-found nerves and self-doubt.
‘I don’t trust myself as much anymore,’ she said. ‘Maybe it’s getting older. There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world. We’re not just athletes, we’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back.’
To which, if I was her coach, I would say, what the hell are you doing scrolling through Twitter during an Olympics? We all know it’s a vile cesspit of heartless trolls, so turn your phone off and watch videos of yourself winning Gold medals instead.
Biles admitted the old version of her wouldn’t have quit.
‘If you would have said four or five years ago, that definitely wouldn’t have been that Simone — I would have gone out there and did whatever. But today it was like, you know what, I don’t want to do something stupid…it’s not worth it, especially when you have three amazing athletes that can step up to the plate and do it. Not worth it.’
It’s not worth it to push yourself through a wobble to win Gold for your younger teammates who’ve never tasted such Olympic glory?
I preferred the old Simone that would do whatever it took to win.
‘I have to do what’s right for me,’ Biles added.
Again, really? Even if you’re the team leader, and it’s obviously not going to be the right thing to do for the team?
The three other girls in the team couldn’t win Gold without her, though I admire them for stepping up to the plate and trying.
And I expected justified criticism for Biles’ selfish decision to leave them to lose without her.
But none came.
Instead, Twitter, led by two-faced ‘Be Kind!’ celebrity monsters like Ellen DeGeneres and Chelsea Handler, raced to congratulate her on her ‘courage’ and ‘heroism’ and heralded her as a ‘true inspiration’.
And as so often, I thought the complete opposite.
What exactly is so courageous, heroic or inspiring about quitting on your team and country in an Olympics?
Simone Biles was so traumatised by her experience that she reappeared, all smiles, a little later to cheer her on the team she’d abandoned as they tried and failed to win the Gold they’d have almost certainly won if she’d stayed and battled on.
That’s a weird optic for a sporting champion, isn’t it?
Of course, no sportswriters will dare say any of this because they’re all too terrified of the woke mob coming for them, but I know many of them are thinking it because some have messaged me privately to say so.
One of the worst aspects of social media, especially Twitter, is not just the way it now celebrates losing, failure and quitting as greater achievements than winning, success and resilience, but the vicious manner it bullies and shames into silence anyone who deviates from this warped view of sporting achievement.
We saw it after tennis superstar Naomi Osaka pulled out of the French Open because she didn’t like being asked by journalists why she doesn’t play as well on clay as other surfaces. When she was criticised for failing to honour her contracted media obligations, Osaka suddenly cited mental health as the reason for her actions and said she’d been suffering depression for several years, which came as news to her own sister who posted (but then deleted) on Facebook that Naomi didn’t suffer from depression or any other mental illness.
The consequence of this was that nobody now dares criticise Naomi Osaka, and if you try, as I’ve done, you get branded a sexist racist douchebag.
Yet during the build-up to Tokyo Olympics, Ms Osaka appeared on myriad magazine covers and interviews to promote herself at her home country’s biggest sporting event – suggesting she loves to exploit the media she professes to hate, but only when she can control it.
And at Wimbledon last month, 18-year-old English player Emma Raducanu quit towards the end of her Last 16 match after having some kind of panic attack.
She was a set down and losing 3-0 in the second at the time, so in a few more minutes she would probably have lost the match anyway.
But instead, she gave up, and was instantly celebrated as a courageous inspiring heroine too, while John McEnroe was attacked for correctly saying she just couldn’t handle the pressure – something she herself later agreed was true.
Now we have Simone Biles being saluted as ‘iconic’ for quitting, and even citing Naomi Osaka as her inspirational spirit animal for doing so.
Well sorry if it offends all the howling Twitter snowflake virtue-signallers, but I don’t think it’s remotely courageous, heroic or inspiring to quit.
And yes, I say that as someone who walked off the set of Good Morning Britain earlier this year during an argument with a co-worker about Meghan Markle, the person who more than any other has fuelled this cynical new phenomenon of shutting down legitimate criticism by disingenuously playing the mental health and race cards.
What happened to me exposed the ludicrous hypocrisy at the heart of the social media quitter-lovers.
I only left for a few minutes before returning to my desk, but that was long enough for Twitter to forever brand me a gutless coward and snivelling weak-minded weasel.
Indeed, after I tweeted criticism of Simone Biles yesterday, thousands of people promptly bombarded me with the now infamous meme of me walking off, and savagely mocked for quitting.
Oddly, they didn’t think ME quitting was as brave, heroic and inspiring as Ms Biles quitting!
Nor, of course, did any of them ever give a damn about my mental health as they spewed their vile foul-mouthed abuse.
But here’s the thing: they were right, and I was wrong.
It WAS gutless and cowardly of me to walk off.
If you’re going to dish it out, then you’ve got to take the heat when it flies back at you, which is why I went back and finished the discussion with my co-worker.
Just as when you call yourself the GOAT in sport, you can’t then quit the moment things get tough or you make a mistake. Something that I’m sure Simone Biles, in her heart, must realise because she’s a great champion and great champions just don’t do that.
‘I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times,’ Biles said a few days before she quit. ‘I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The Olympics is no joke!’
No, they’re not.
I don’t doubt that sportsmen and women feel under pressure when they compete at a global event like the Olympics.
It goes with the territory.
But pressure comes in many guises, and perspective is always important.
I once asked a Los Angeles ear-nose-and-throat surgeon what the toughest and most stressful part of his job was, and he replied: ‘When I have to perform emergency tracheostomies on babies, knowing if I make a mistake, they may die.’
There will be many people working in hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic who have similar stories to tell about patients they’ve saved and lost in the past 18 months.
That’s real pressure.
My favourite quote about all this came from the famous Australian cricketer Keith Miller, who also flew bombers for the Royal Australian Air Force during the Second World War.
When asked how he dealt with the pressure of international (‘Test’) cricket, he scoffed: ‘There’s no pressure in Test cricket. REAL pressure is when you’re flying a Mosquito with a Messerschmitt up your a**e.’
He was right.
Get back out there Simone, and don’t get sucked into all the weak woke failure-loving Twitter nonsense – you’re too great a champion to be labelled a quitter.