Former UFC champion and Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo has some advice for gymnast Simone Biles, who has withdrawn from several events this week at the Tokyo Olympics, opting not to defend her unofficial title as “Greatest Of All Time.”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.”
My take on Simone Biles pulling out of the Olympics. 📠🏆🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/Y7z4AJWejR
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) July 30, 2021
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.”
Preach brotha!! I deal with mental health issues, have PTSD from Afghanistan and you are 100% correct even when we are down we need someone to push us to be better and stronger
— Justin Schmidt (@Justinschmidt88) July 30, 2021
She should have looked for a reason to continue not a reason to quit. I’ve been like that where I did quit and was convinced to keep going and glad I did as I just needed someone to believe in me
— vietkieu (@vietkieu222) August 1, 2021
Solid points bro! When my friend gets sexually abused for a decade by her gymnastics coach, I tell her to walk off that trauma & stress from the sport, then get back in there & do more gymnastics 👍
— billy madison (@bilbomadison) August 1, 2021
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.
Respectfully, this is not a tough love kind of moment. She has a condition that came on after she got to the games which prevents her from knowing where she is mid-air. As high as she soars it would be insane to attempt any of it when she’s not in complete control of her body.
— Michelle (@Taltos44) July 31, 2021
Until you can jump up, spin through the air 2 1/2 times, run and flip, perform on the vault, have several seats. You know not of what you speak.
— Atlanta Golf Mom (@AtlantaGolfMom) July 30, 2021
non gymnasts shouldn’t be commenting on her situation. yes other olympians and HIGH level athletes can relate on some level but her situation is so unique to gymnastics people outside of it can’t/won’t be able to understand.
— userNAME not required (@gottalookintoit) July 30, 2021
Yeah I’m sure that “kick in the ass” pep talk would have made such a big difference when she ended up getting seriously injured or worse because she lost track of where she was mid air. She has the “Twisties” which can literally kill or paralyze a gymnast if they land wrong.
— 🌻Maresa Lynn🌻 (@GFR_MaresaLynn) July 30, 2021
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