Grand Rapids Olympian Weighs In On Biles
It was 1996 and Katie Teft-Minasola was an alternate for the US Women's gymnastic team at the US trials. As an elite athlete, she has put in many long hours training. She has a complete understanding of the pressure that athletes go through.
From competitor to coach, Minasola is now the head women's gymnastic coach at Eastern Michigan University since 2017. Talking with WOOD TV, Minasola spoke of competing,
That’s what I love about gymnastics, the spotlight and competing. Don’t get me wrong, the nerves were there because it was the Olympic trials.
Minasola applauded gymnast Simone Biles for having the courage to withdraw from the competition to focus on her mental health. Minasola added that gymnastics is a mental game. She stated to WOOD-TV8,
I think it’s great she took that opportunity to focus on herself and stayed there for her team. Especially at the Olympic level … if you’re not in the right frame of mind, you could injure yourself pretty badly. You want to focus on your safety first.
She told WOOD-TV that Biles is the greatest-of-all-time gymnast who continues to inspire athletes around the world, showing them mental health matters. She added that it's "ok to focus on yourself. "
With a combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, Biles is the most decorated American gymnast and is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most dominant female gymnasts of all time.
Minasola is a 2016 inductee into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame. She has helped 11 teams to NCAA Regional appearances, including five with Iowa State University and six at Michigan State University.
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