Former US gold medalist says Simone Biles needs ‘kick in the a–,’ as gymnast pulls out of two more events

Former UFC champion and Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo has some advice for gymnast Simone Biles, who has withdrawn from several events this week at the Tokyo Olympics, opting not to defend her unofficial title as “Greatest Of All Time.”

Cejudo, who took the gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in freestyle wrestling thinks it’s time for some “tough love” for the 24-year-old world-class gymnast and that she could use a good “kick in the arse.”

“I believe Simone Biles pulling out of this thing is like, I think she really needs to check herself. I think there’s time for a little bit of tough love. If she was my sister, this is exactly what I would do,” the former UFC bantamweight and flyweight champion advised in a video shared online. “So, I would never say something that I wouldn’t do to my personal family or anything like that. Or even for me, because I do believe sometimes we do need a nice kick in the arse.”

Cejudo, who is keenly aware of the strain of performing under such intense pressure after winning 16 of 18 career MMA fights, continued, “People say the media created her and you know they put upon this pressure. Not really. They only give you a platform, a limelight. It’s up to you to believe it and to accept it. If you start to think you’re the GOAT and the greatest of all time, then that’s on you.”

“There’s two things that pressure can do. Pressure could either break, or it could make diamonds. Pressure could either bust pipes or it can create and make diamonds,” Cejudo added. “You choose what to do for it, or what to do with it, remember that.”

Cejudo is clearly rooting for Biles to overcome what many in gymnastics refer to as “the twisties.” “Remember that there’s a reason why you are an Olympic champion. There’s nothing new,” he said encouragingly. “It’s all in you, you’re going against you, and I hope you can come back from that.”

Biles withdrew from the individual all-around, team all-around and floor exercise last week citing mental health issues. On Saturday, she also withdrew from the vault and uneven bars event finals.

“Today, after further consultation with medical staff, Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from the event finals for vault and the uneven bars. She will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor exercise and balance beam.” read a statement from USA Gymnastics. “We remain in awe of Simone, who continues to handle this situation with courage and grace, and all of the athletes who have stepped up during these unexpected circumstances,”

Many agreed with the wrestling stars’ assessment that it’s time for some “tough love.”

On the other hand, many defended Biles’ decision to withdraw from the events as she is in a class of her own and would put herself at risking life-altering injuries.

Ashley Hill

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