World-renowned artistic gymnast Simone Biles shocked the world when she decided to withdraw from the gymnastics team final and the individual all-around competition. She chose to prioritize her mental health after experiencing “the twisties”, a psychological phenomenon causing athletes to lose air awareness while performing jumps with twisting elements.
Biles’s decision was met with heavy criticism by journalists, pundits, and fans but was also applauded by millions of athletes, physicians, and sports enthusiasts. In a recent Tweet, the four-time Olympic champion shared with the world that the support she received made her realize that she is more than her accomplishments and a gymnast.
Phelps Was Heartbroken for Simone Biles
Swimming legend Michael Phelps was among her most avid supporters. The former Olympian told Mike Tirico that the Olympics can be very overwhelming, especially when athletes are considered the face of the Games. He spoke about the pressure that participants face, which is something he too struggled with.
Sportspersons Are Human Too
During his career, Phelps has earned a total of 28 Olympic medals – 23 golds, 3 silvers, and 2 bronzes. But even he has experienced depression and contemplated suicide. He shared with Tirico that athletes are humans as well and they are not perfect. And it’s OK to not be OK. He continued by explaining that most sportspersons have a hard time asking for help because they feel as if they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. The same words were used by Simone Biles while trying to justify her decision to step away from the Olympics.
Phelps added that Simone Biles’s decision to withdraw from the games can be an “eye-opening experience” that will allow people to better understand the immense stress and pressure to which athletes are subjected, especially during major events such as the Olympic Games.
While Biles’s choice to walk away from the Olympics wasn’t made lightly, she surely paved the way for athletes to pick their wellness ahead of winning a medal at all costs.
The Greatest MLS Players in the History of the League
The MLS has had some great players over the years. From home-grown talents to foreign imports, these are the greatest MLS players in the history of the league.
Quite simply, there hasn’t been an American player quite like Landon Donovan. The forward showed he could play in pretty much any league in the world and was the great hope for the United States National Team for years. During his time in the MLS, Donovan collected four MLS titles and two Supporters’ Shields. Donovan made the MLS Best XI seven times in his career and became the all-time assist leader with 136. The player did so much for American soccer that in 2015 the MLS renamed the MVP award to the ‘Landon Donovan MVP Award.’
There was no denying that bringing a star like David Beckham to Los Angeles made the MLS much more popular. Beckham joined the league in 2007 and won two MLS Cups. Although he was criticized for returning to Europe whenever possible, Beckham’s time with the Galaxy was nothing but a success. The English midfielder had 40 assists and scored a bunch of trademark unforgettable free-kick goals.
David Beckham might have been responsible for raising the profile of the MLS, but Robbie Keane might be the best foreign import the league has ever seen. He joined LA Galaxy with one aim, scoring a ton of goals. In just 125 games in the MLS, the Irishman scored 83 goals, winning three MLS Cups during his short time in the league. Keane was at the end of his professional career but proved he still had what it took during his MLS seasons.
There were many MLS players to choose from, but these are the guys who had the biggest impact on the league. Their skills with the ball brought millions of eyes to the MLS, helping it become what it is today.