SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Simone Biles surprised a lot of people by dropping out of the Olympic team competition to take care of her mental health. But the kids at Power and Grace Gymnastics center say what Biles did is better than a gold medal performance.
“Flipping super high in the air, flipping a bunch of times. It’s super fun,” 14-year-old gymnast, Klaire Oehlke said
Oehlke has been loving gymnastics for ten years. She says Simone Biles inspires her to keep improving.
“For sure she’s someone I look up to. She’s just so crazy the things she does. She was already the best and then she came back and did stuff that was even better than she was before,” Oehlke said.
Oehlke says Biles didn’t let down her team or her country. Instead, she taught every athlete an important lesson.
“Athletes, we see them, like, break world records and win gold and stuff but they’re also human. It’s okay to not be okay,” Oehlke said.
“I honestly was a little confused, but I think if it was for her well-being, I think she did the right thing,” Josie Reitmeier said.
Josie Reitmeier says Biles’s courage on the biggest stage in the world should inspire everyone.
“I think it gives gymnasts the hope that even if they’re struggling, that they don’t have to stay in, they can drop out for their well-being. I think she’s truly helping other people,” Reitmeier said.
Power and Grace owner Dennis Champoux couldn’t agree more.
“Other kids may not be so daring to reach out for help and now if they can say, well she did it, maybe it’s time for me to reach out too. She may have saved some kids from going down a bad path,” Champooux said.
“She asked for help which I think is really cool. I think it shows that mental health is just as important as physical health,” Oehlke said.
Oehlke says he’s confident that eventually, Simone Biles will make a comeback proving she’s the greatest of all time, in more ways than one.
The gymnasts we talked to say they also draw inspiration from Biles’s replacement, Jade Carey, who helped her team earn a silver medal on short notice.