Two years ago, Simone Biles was ridiculed by boomers across the globe for dropping out of the Olympics due to “Mental health issues,” now, she’s the most decorated gymnast in US history. That didn’t stop the Wall Street Journal from making a disastrous mistake in identity, which some are calling out as racist.
A Historic Triumph Unfolds
In a stunning comeback, Simone Biles displayed her unmatched prowess by clinching four gold medals and a silver after a remarkable two-year absence from the international gymnastics stage.
From Hero to Villain and Back to Hero
This awe-inspiring feat marked her as the most decorated gymnast in history, a testament to her unparalleled talent and resilience.
Biles’ Personal Journey
But for Biles, the focus was not on the medals. As she addressed the press at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, she shared her rough personal journey.
A New Found Confidence in the Air
“I had to prove to myself that I could still get out here, twist. I could prove all the haters wrong, that I’m not a quitter… For me, I didn’t care. As long as I’m out there twisting again and finding the joy for gymnastics again, who cares?” she said.
Overcoming the ‘Twisties’
Two years ago, at the Olympics, Biles faced a challenging mental health setback and heavy backlash from a not-so-understanding global audience.
A Heartbreaking Withdrawal
Biles withdrew from the Olympics due to the debilitating “twisties,” which led to a loss of air awareness, making jumps potentially dangerous.
A Promising Future Hung in the Balance
This forced her to step back from the sport, and even this year, her return to gymnastics remained uncertain.
Biles’ Remarkable Mindset
Prioritizing her mental health, Biles immersed herself in therapy, where she learned the power of saying “no” and honed her ability to advocate for herself.
Rediscovering Her Passion for Gymnastics
By prioritizing her mental and physical well-being during a critical phase of her career, she has likely extended her time in the sport, serving as a role model to all women suffering from mental health in sports.
A Celebration Marred by a Misstep
Biles also recently called out the Wall Street Journal for an article that misidentified her, accompanying the piece with an image of a different gymnast.
A Tweet Gone Wrong
The article in question celebrated Biles as the most decorated gymnast in history, but it turned sour as Biles pointed out that the young, black gymnast they used wasn’t actually her.
The Tweet Revealed
The Wall Street Journal tweeted, “With 37 world and Olympic medals now, Simone Biles added to her extraordinary legacy at the world championships in Belgium,” along with a link to the article.
A Swift and Mature Response
Biles was quick to respond, pointing out the error: “this picture isn’t even me…….. try again.”
Acknowledging the Error
Acknowledging the mistake, the Wall Street Journal promptly deleted the offending tweet and corrected the photo both within the article and across their social media platforms.
Forgive and Forget?
They also issued a note addressing the mishap, stating, “photo in an earlier version of this article misidentified a gymnast as Simone Biles.”
They Just Typed ‘Black Gymnast’
Users on X were quick to label the Wall Street Journal, with one commenting, “They just Google ‘black gymnast.’”
Pointing Out the Problem
Another user pointed out the problem by using quote marks to suggest Wall Street Journals thinking, “‘All black people look the same’” they sarcastically wrote.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / A.RICARDO. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.