labeling machine factory，labeling machine factory，labeling machine factory，labeling machine factory，Simone Biles, the greatest gymnast in history, made a life-changing choice on Tuesday: She withdrew from the finals of the team competition, putting her own wellbeing first. Her team went on without her, winning silver as the Russian team took the gold. She told members of the media: "I'd just never felt like this going into a competition before and I tried to go out there and have fun... but once I came out here, I was like: No, the mental's not there, so I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself."Biles, who posted to Instagram earlier in the competition that she felt the "weight of the world" on her shoulders, showed significant strain during her most recent performance. But, along with all the achievements and medals she's acquired during her legendary career, this moment -- the best in the world putting her mental wellbeing first, saying openly "It's been really stressful these Olympic Games" may be her most defining one, showing others the importance of self-care.This year, with the pandemic adding so much uncertainty and stress, Olympic athletes are struggling with even higher expectations and less support, facing the pain of competing without the family and friends who have encouraged them in getting this far, knowing that a single positive Covid test or unexpected outbreak could derail years of training.Pandemic concerns and mental health struggles are also not mutually exclusive. Becca Meyers, a deaf and blind Paralympic swimmer who withdrew from the Games after she said her request to bring her mother as a personal care assistant was denied, has said the decision "tore her apart." The words she used to describe how she has been feeling are so telling: "I've always been known as Becca the swimmer and not Becca the deaf-blind person. And now I feel very worthless as a person. For someone who trained five years for this moment, especially an extra year with the pandemic, it makes it all seem like it was for nothing."After facing harsh criticism over the withdrawal, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) issued a statement defending the support it's providing to athletes during these Games: "We take pride in being the best-prepared [national Olympic committee] and [national Paralympic committee] in the world, and that includes supporting all athletes as they navigate the excitement, and complexity, of the Olympic or Paralympic Games."I used to compete internationally in wheelchair track and field, fencing and cross-fit events. I know that as a top-performing athlete, you are often expected to be a superhuman -- at the peak, physically and mentally. I dealt with many issues around mental health. I competed in wheelchair track and road racing, which is a majority White sport. I spent years managing microaggressions around being mistaken for the only other Asian girl who competed nationally. I dealt with racial tensions and harassment on campus as a student athlete, as many of us pushed for the removal of a racist mascot that was a caricature of an Indigenous Illinois tribe.I also understand the disappointment and concern that arise about whether one's body can hold out another year — or four — of at least two-a-day practices, six days a week. After a car accident in 2003 and pneumonia in 2004 sidelined me long enough to miss 100-meter qualifying times by a second, I knew that I might not make it to the next Paralympic Games four years later. I trained another year but was forced into early retirement after a surgery went awry. Much like other retired athletes, I spent years trying to recover emotionally and find a new path for myself.While many Olympians and Paralympians are experiencing unprecedented mental health challenges due to the pandemic, their struggles foreground a broader problem in elite athletic spaces around mental health and inadequate support systems. A pre-pandemic study showed that up to 34% of elite athletes struggled with anxiety and depression, with 19% self-medicating with alcohol. That's significantly higher than among the average population.