Late on Thursday night, 2008 wrestling gold medalist Henry Cejudo shared some “tough love” with gymnast Simone Biles after her withdrawal from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The American Olympian turned UFC champion shared his thoughts in a video he posted on Twitter. Cejudo himself knows the pressure that comes along with competing at the Olympics. 13 years ago, the 21-year-old became the youngest American to win a gold medal in freestyle wrestling. The MMA fighter also became a double champion when he won both the UFC’s flyweight and bantamweight titles in 2018.
So Cejudo is no stranger to the pressures of elite competitions. He disagreed with Biles’ decision to pull out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics because of her mental health.
“I believe Simone Biles pulling out of this thing is like, I think she really needs to check herself,” Cejudo said in the video. “I think there’s time for a little bit of tough love. If she was my sister, this is exactly what I would do. So, I would never say something that I wouldn’t do to my personal family or anything like that. Or even for me, because I do believe sometimes we do need a nice kick in the arse.”
Additionally, Cejudo said he thinks Biles made a mistake withdrawing from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I do believe she made a mistake. I think now she kind of tends to take it back knowing that a lot of things are backfiring,” Cejudo said. “But if I had to give my two cents and I hope she listens to this, I’m not going to tag her. But if one of you guys want to tag her and she ends up listening to it, I think it would help her a lot.”
Simone Biles Withdraws From 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Gets Support From NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers
While Simone Biles has received criticism from some like Henry Cejudo and others, she also has had numerous athletes and celebrities praise her for her decision. Biles surprisingly withdrew herself from all competitions at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics due to a mental health issue. On Wednesday, Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers shared words of support for the famous gymnast.
The Super Bowl champion faced reporters during his first media availability of training camp a couple of days ago. While answering questions about his return to Green Bay this week after skipping offseason practices, he empathized with Simone Biles’ situation. Rodgers is proud of her for choosing to prioritize her own mental health over the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In fact, he revealed that he skipped OTAs this summer for the first time in his career, and it helped improve his own mental health.
“I think it’s important that we work on our mental state. As you’ve seen with Simone Biles, I think there needs to be more conversation around that. We as athletes are often put on a pedestal that we’re not — that we’re beyond any mental hindrances or clutter. And the only time that mental health often gets talked about is when it’s under the conversation of depression. I didn’t have any depression. But I have a ton of respect for people who speak out in those situations,” Rodgers said, according to a Yahoo Sports article.
“For me, it was just about clearing any of the clutter,” he added. “And that’s what I try to do with this offseason by adjusting some habits and spending time with my loved ones, traveling as safely and as often as I possibly could. And then making sure I was ready to go if I came back.”