Tom Brady and Michael Jordan have often been in stressful situations, but that doesn’t compare to what Simone Biles and Michael Phelps have gone through according to Colin Cowherd.
Simone Biles recently announced her decision to pull out of the Tokyo Olympics, citing both an injury and mental pressure as her reasons for pulling out. Biles said:
“I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard…the Olympics is no joke!”
“At the end of the day, we’re human too,” Simone Biles said after withdrawing from the women’s gymnastics team finals. “So, we have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.”https://t.co/FsrtTwxhJU
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 27, 2021
Colin Cowherd spoke about Biles’ decision on his podcast, and he made an interesting comparison between Biles, Michael Phelps and other Olympians to predominantly local athletes like Tom Brady and Michael Jordan.
Colin Cowherd Claims That Tom Brady And Michael Jordan Never Had To Go Through The Pressure Olympians Like Simone Biles And Michael Phelps Did
Playing in a domestic league like the NBA or NFL is vastly different from competing in the Olympics. For one, you’re not just representing your city, but instead, you’re representing your entire country.
On top of that, the margin for error is drastically smaller. In an NBA season, teams typicall play 82 games. If you mess up in one game, it isn’t the end of the world. One loss in your season could have a signficant impact in terms of how you’re seeded perhaps, but at the end of the day, you won’t be eliminated or something if you have one off night.
There are so many chances to rebound. The same thing goes for any other league, the NFL, MLB, NHL, you name it. The Olympics aren’t like that. One slip-up in your routine or your race, and you could be done for.
The Olympics are the event. There’s no second chance, there’s no ‘it’s okay, we’ll bounce back next time.’ Next time here means four years later.
There’s no doubt that athletes from all walks of life and various sports face tremendous mental pressure, but this pressure can be elevated when you’re competing on an international stage like the Olympics. This kind of pressure can apply to anyone as well.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve won 27 international medals by the time you’re 24, like Simone Biles, or if you’re the most decorated Olympian of all times like Michael Phelps, the pressure and mental strain can get to you.
In fact, having had that kind of success can only exacerbate the pressure because there’s now added pressure of living up to your past achievements.
This distinction between Olympic sports and domestic leagues like the NBA and the NFL is precisely why Colin Cowherd believes that athletes like Biles and Phelps faced pressure in the way Brady and Jordan never did.
The importance of mental health is starting to gain awareness in the sporting world as often times athletes are keen on maintaining their suppsoed toughness just because they play a grueling sport.
Standing up and showing love and support to athletes like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka will go a long way to making sure mental health is no longer seen as a taboo for athletes and becomes something they can more openly speak about.
The sports world shows love to Simone Biles after she withdrew from the final team event 🙏 pic.twitter.com/I2Unbjpz3e
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 27, 2021