Kolkata: Mental fatigue can be a bane, ask legendary American gymnast Simone Biles. After withdrawing from several events at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics much to the disillusionment of her fans, she finally bagged a medal albeit a bronze on the balance beam.
Well, everybody expected the American champion to win a gold but it was not as easy as it looked from the outside. To win any competition an athlete must be in sound health physically as well as mentally. This was not the case for Biles this time around
She actually fought her way throughout the whole year and not just at the Olympics. She suffered mental crisis as well as physical. A sexual abuse survivor, she was shocked when she realised the doctor of the USA team, Lawrence G. Nassar outraged her modesty in the garb of standard medical treatment.
She also endured aching muscles and an ankle injury throughout the year. For a player of her calibre, she should have won more than three medals in the tournament but she ended up winning only one bronze.
It was caused due to her psychological breakdown and not being 100% match fit. She was quoted as saying,” I wasn’t expecting to medal, to have one more opportunity at the Olympics meant the world to me”.
For any sportsperson, impediments are tough to counter, for instance, English cricketer Ben Stokes suddenly decided to take a break from professional cricket to focus on his mental well-being. Earlier this year he also broke a finger which might need further treatment and hence he is going to miss the test series against India on his home soil.
Talent can take a backseat if mental agility takes its toll on you and Simone’s bronze-winning feat certainly does not justify her true acumen, unfortunately though. And blame it on her mental prowess and nothing else.