With Summer 2020 +1 Olympics over, we look back and watch the incredible stories of many athletes who took part in the long-anticipated olympiad. In the midst of the stories, we have heard of faith, trial, and resilience journeys. Meanwhile, one rising star had to put her mental health ahead of her sport to promote awareness and self-care.
One of the most popular track stars for Team USA this year was Allyson Felix. Felix once had a contract with Nike. However, the company nixed her contract in 2017 as they don’t protect pregnant athletes. Despite getting cut by the popular shoe brand, she carried on her pregnancy and gave birth to her daughter in November of 2018.
In the spring of 2019, Felix penned an OP-ED for the New York Times. She shared how Nike poorly mistreated her and her fellow pregnant athletes. The company even predicted that she will never compete again. Later in 2019, she silenced her naysayers as she competed to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. In June of 2021, she qualified for the 400 meters. During the events in Tokyo, she won her 10th overall medal in the same race. In her final race as an Olympian, she led her teammates to victory in winning gold in the 4×400 race and is now the most decorated Olympian in Track and Field.
In 1997, an unfit drug-addicted mother gave birth to a girl that would have been a big target for Planned Parenthood. Fast forward to 2016, she would break out onto the Olympic stage in gymnastics. That woman is Simone Biles. Biles story of sexual assault from Larry Nassar and being a product of foster care got everyone talking. This week, however, she fielded unpopular opinions. One was how abortion is wrong and her response, “I already know this is going to start the biggest argument & may even lose followers BUT I’m very much pro-choice.”
Biles would go on assuming pro-lifers are all about “control”. She missed the mark on her head with her comment for two reasons.
One, the whole, “my body, my choice” concept doesn’t hold water. Instead, a woman does not kill her body during an abortion. Rather, she terminates her child while wiping away future bloodlines that were to come. The pro-life movement does not want to “control” women’s bodies. Instead, it wants to help women who feel like there are no other options. Our culture keeps pushing the answer that a child will hold you back from school, career, and even future endeavors. On the contrary, the child unlocks so much joy and adventure for the mom.
Two, Biles is a product of a foster care system that needs improvement. Thankfully, she was adopted by her grandfather. Despite her upbringing, she went on to be a successful gymnast on the world stage. The potential sufferings that Biles feared did not keep her from showing the world who she is. Instead, it made her stronger. Humans are bound to suffer and it is an inevitable part of our life’s journey. For Biles, she overcame many of them.
Simone Biles, as a Brother in Christ, you overcame many adversities, both physical and mentally, as I have. You have shocked the world in Rio with your talent. I know the topic of abortion was a bit challenging for you to share where you stand. However, as a Catholic, you are called to reject the rhetoric that abortion is a woman’s right. You’re the epitome of a miracle for everyone. Look at how much you have accomplished in your twenty-four years of life. you are the living example of being brought into the world, despite your mother being unfit and your father abandoning her. Your view on abortion needs a hard look as the industry targets African Americans.
Let us pray for Simone Biles to see the light.