Local Gymnast Coach & Counselor React to Simone Biles & Mental Health Awareness

“Most of the people that have something to say have never been involved with gymnastics and everyone that is supporting her has,” says TAG Girls Team Head Coach, Anne Malinowsky.

After Olympic gymnast Simone Biles unexpectedly pulled out from the competition, there’s been an overwhelming support for mental health awareness among athletes.

A local gymnast coach and a local counselor explained why they think Simone made the right decision for herself.

“Her on vault, it was very scary. … A lot of people don’t understand that she is so good that she made that really big mistake look like it wasn’t that damaging,” says Malinowsky.

Simone Biles dropped out of the team competition after this vault as well as the individual all-around to focus on her mental health.

Malinowsky explains if her students are not in the right headspace to compete she would rather have them sit out and keep them safe.

“All eyes are on her, she is the face of the entire Olympics. Everyone expects everything of her….It’s a lot of pressure for someone who is 24 years old.”

“She’s been through a lot that not many of us have been through. Not just in terms of obviously being an Olympian and the pressure of that, but just the traumas that she’s been through facing years of abuse,” says Tyler Rogers, Owner & Therapist for Scout Counseling.

Rogers says at first there was a lot of disappointment with Simone dropping out due to people’s love of Olympics and USA gymnastics.

But upon further reflection, Rogers says you realize why she did it and how difficult it must have been to make that decision.

“Some amount of anxiety is good. It gets us moving and we all want to hit the top of that bell curve, the sweet spot. When you get too much anxiety, you kinda move to the other end of the bell curve and you become paralyzed.”

“As big of a deal as the Olympics are, as wonderful as the American team is, that we remember that they’re human beings before they are show-ponies. And, that their lives as people matter much more than their accomplishments as gymnasts,” says Malinowsky.

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