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Simone Biles Was 100% Right To Drop Out And Dominique Moceanu Just Illustrated Why

"In our sport, we essentially dive into a pool with no water."

If you've been following the Olympics at all, you're probably aware that Simone Biles chose to drop out of the women's gymnastics team final and the all-around final citing mental health concerns.

Simone Biles on the floor of the arena
Loic Venance / AFP via Getty Images

Biles had performed one vault in the team final but ended up almost botching her skill. Instead of doing her usual 2.5 twists in the air, she did just 1.5 and had a rough landing.

Biles landing her vault with her knees and hands almost touching the ground
Jean Catuffe / Getty Images

This resulted in a significantly lower score than what she — the world's most decorated gymnast — usually gets. 

After her withdrawal from competition, Biles received an outpouring of support, but unfortunately also some moronic backlash from the types of people I won't link to here.

But one of them rhymes with Smiers Smorgan.

Enter Dominique Moceanu, former Olympic gymnast and gold medalist who competed in the 1996 Games in Atlanta. With one video, she responded to the backlash and perfectly illustrated why Biles was 100% correct in withdrawing from competition (WARNING: the video is not graphic but it does depict a painful fall):

I was 14 y/o w/ a tibial stress fracture, left alone w/ no cervical spine exam after this fall. I competed in the Olympic floor final minutes later. @Simone_Biles 🤍 decision demonstrates that we have a say in our own health—“a say” I NEVER felt I had as an Olympian.

Twitter: @Dmoceanu

In the video, Moceanu — then just 14 years old and competing in the games — landed squarely on her head during her balance beam routine.

Dominique Moceanu landing on her head during her beam routine
NBC / Via Twitter: @Dmoceanu

Moceanu says she didn't receive a spinal exam after this fall and was expected to go right back out and perform her floor routine. She also had a stress fracture in her leg at the time.

It's a horrifying moment and when you consider that Biles says she "got a little bit lost in the air" during her vault, it's a reminder of just how catastrophic a mistake during a gymnastics skill can be. These competitors are always a half-turn or a split second away from a potentially career-ending — if not life-threatening — injury if they're not focused.

Biles in midair during her vault
Jean Catuffe / Getty Images

Moceanu drove that point home by likening their sport to a "dive into a pool w/ no water." She lauded Biles for standing up for her own health, a say that Moceanu writes she "never felt" she had.

In our sport, we essentially dive into a pool w/ no water. When you lose your ability to find the ground—which appears to be part of @Simone_Biles decision—-the consequences can be catastrophic. She made the right decision for the team & herself. @bisping

Twitter: @Dmoceanu

Of course, Biles also cited the possibility of hurting her team's chances for a medal if she competed, which could have happened because of the way gymnastics team events are scored. And possibility of physical injury aside, even if Biles had simply needed to sit out just because of the intense pressure of the Olympics and her own mental health, that would have been just as good a reason as any.

Biles waving as she stands with her teammates on the floor of the arena
Jean Catuffe / Getty Images

In short, unless you wanna go risk your literal spine by doing two and a half flips in the ever-lovin' AIR, you can keep your negativity about Simone Biles to yourself.

Anyone who is rlly upset that a 24 year old they've never met decided not to do a million flips for them, I have an amazing message for you: you are going to be fine!!!!!

Twitter: @poregan

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