Simone Biles recently received a huge addition to her many accolades this year after being named TIME’s Athlete of the Year. The gymnast truly did break ground in the mental health discussion and has played a pivotal role in addressing it after the Tokyo Olympics.
‘The GOAT’ has made mental health an open discussion, contrary to its previous nature, and has encouraged other athletes to step forward and treat it as a serious issue. She has won the support of other big names such as Michael Phelps, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift in the process.
However, not all necessarily agree with how much of a spotlight she has received since Tokyo.
Piers Morgan for once did not hold back in blasting the decision to bestow the ‘Athlete of the Year’ award upon her.
“Ridiculous. We should celebrate winning in sport – not quitting,” the broadcaster wrote in a tweet. “‘Athlete of the Year’ for someone who quit on her team so they lost, then recovered in time to compete in her solo event a few days later? Pur-lease,” he continued, replying to a fan.
Simone Biles is not the only one Piers Morgan has critiqued
The journalist also garnered attention from his own countrymen after openly snubbing a bronze medal as an achievement during the Tokyo Olympics. This came in response to a social media row with English soccer legend Gary Lineker over the relevance of a pandemic-era Olympics.
“Nobody cares about these covid-ravaged Olympics,” he wrote in the initial tweet. “I feel incredibly sorry for all the athletes still trying to live their Olympic dream, but that is the harsh reality. And the great champions like Adam Peaty know it. It should have been either further postponed or canceled.”
In response to Lineker disagreeing with him, Morgan wrote:
“It’s great to see Team Great Britain athletes win Gold medals, not least so we can stop pretending Bronze is an achievement worthy of national celebration. But let’s be honest – these Olympics are just not the same without fans.”
The silence of fans in the stands had its own impact- the softer voices were finally heard. Through Simone Biles’, the world has now become more receptive to a crippling issue for athletes which will pave the path for a healthier competition, physically and mentally.