American gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles withdrew from the individual all-around competition at the Tokyo games earlier this week.
JET 24 reached out to a local olympian about the kind of pressure she could be facing.
One of the best American wrestlers of all time and former Olympian, Bruce Baumgartner, said it can be challenging to perform on a world stage, especially during these Olympic Games without the support of family and friends.
He added certain sports like gymnastics are so dangerous, he can understand why Biles may not want to compete if she is not ready mentally.
“If you’re not on, it’s a life and death situation,” said Baumgartner. “And you come down on your neck or your back. I mean, there’s way more danger in some of the sports. You know, if a marathon runner is not feeling good, they go out there and run. If they drop out of the race, it’s not a good thing, but it’s not most likely life-threatening.”
Another factor that could contribute to an athlete’s performance is the prevalence of social media. Baumgartner said he did not face the same kind of criticism when he competed.
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