Simone Biles’ Gold Medal

American gymnast Simone Biles holds the record for the most World Championship medals (25) and the most gold medals (19) in World Championship history for an athlete of either gender.

She attracted empathy from fans when during the current Tokyo Olympics she stepped away from competition citing mental health issues – these issues are extremely common in the population these days especially among young people.

Unfortunately, Simone also had to suffer the criticism on social media that called her unpatriotic and denigrating her competitive spirit.

To me Simone Biles won the most important gold medal — the one for Courage when she revealed her mental issues and had the courage to step back and attend to working on them rather than continue to seek more glory.

Tennis star Naomi Osaka is in the same category – brave to speak up and step back at personal career peril to do the right thing and in spite of criticism by some.

One definition of a champion is a person who fights or argues for a cause on behalf of someone else.

In that case, thanks should go to brave people like Simone Biles who set a new standard for all who experience mental health issues.